Health Care Heroes Award Mecklin Ragan
Co-Founder Mecklin Ragan Wins
Though dentist Benjamin Vela had just received a dental excellence award Tuesday, it was excellent care by doctors at Driscoll Children’s Hospital that he thanked during the Caller-Times Health Care Heroes awards luncheon.
Vela shared that his 2-year-old daughter battles leukemia and is being treated by the Driscoll doctors during the luncheon that draws hundreds of health care community members and recognizes them for their contributions.
“Doing what we do in health care is about the people. It’s not just about the people we treat, but about the people we work with every day, people we see every day,” he said before posing with the winners for a group photo.
Though local health care professionals aren’t able see each other every day as patients’ health and emergencies demand their attention, award recipients expressed gratitude for the opportunity to connect with one another at the luncheon.
“To be a part of the health care community and meet so many wonderful people who are all working for the same things ? It’s a really wonderful thing,” said award recipient Trevor Bonser, a nurse at Christus Spohn Hospital Shoreline.
After receiving an award for community outreach, Mecklin Ragan hugged and congratulated Vela, who she met at Driscoll Children’s Hospital in December. She and her late brother, James Ragan, were delivering Christmas ornaments to hospitalized children.
The sibling duo founded Triumph Over Kid Cancer, a nonprofit organization that raises funds for pediatric cancer research. James Ragan died Feb. 17 of osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer.
Health Care Heroes coordinators received more than 120 nominations across six categories – more than double the number of nominations received last year. The program recognizes excellence in care and service and educates the community about best practices to enhance the value and quality of local care.
“We are fortunate to have thousands of excellent health care professionals taking care of us in the Coastal Bend. They are our unsung heroes,” said Steve Arnold, Caller-Times vice president of marketing.