Hospital Hero Awards

Congratulations to the 2018 Hospital Heroes!

Hospital Heroes
  • Minna Hong, Supervisor of the Spinal Cord Injury Peer Support Program - Shepherd Center
  • Kyle Porter, Patient Relations Representative - Northside Hospital Cherokee
  • Dale Saylor, RN, Care Coordinator - The Medical Center, Navicent Health
  • Gina Solomon, Trauma Program Manager - Gwinnett Medical Center
  • Karen Veccie, RN - Piedmont Fayette Hospital

Physician Heroes

  • Buddy Langston, MD, Retired Pediatrician and Trustee, Northeast Georgia Medical Center Gainesville
  • Randy W. Cooper, MD, General Surgeon and Medical Director of Breast Health Services - University Hospital

Lifetime Achievement Winner

  • Franklin Smith, Director of Environmental Services - Bacon County Hospital and Health System


The 2019 competition will open January 1.

Submitting a Nomination

How do I submit a nomination?

Online submission for the 2019 competition will become available January 1.

 What is required as part of the nomination process?

 Your name and contact information, the name of your nominee, and an essay of 750 words or less to explain why your nominee meets the criteria of a Hospital Hero.
I know the perfect person to nominate, but I am hesitant about my writing skills. What are the judges looking for in a winning entry?

Having professional writing skills is not essential for writing a good entry. After giving a brief background on the nominee, remember to provide specific examples of why that person deserves the award. Does she go out of her way to help patients? Give an example. Does he always show his co-workers how special they are? Give an example. Is there one heroic event that stands out in your mind? Be as descriptive as possible. Remember, the judges don’t know your nominee as well as you do – that’s why an essay is required. The entries that stand out above the others are those that describe the various reasons you and/or other co-workers believe the nominee is a hero.

The person I am thinking about nominating has not committed a single heroic act that saved a life, but has been a faithful, loyal employee to our hospital for several years. Would he/she be a good candidate for this award?

Yes. In the many years of this program, several individuals like that have been named a Georgia Hospital Hero.

Q: May I nominate the same person for a Hospital Hero Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award?

A: No. You must choose one category in which to enter a nominee. However, you may enter multiple nominees from your hospital.

Q: Are hospital board members eligible if they do not work or have medical privileges at the hospital?

A: Yes.

 Must the nominee be a caregiver, like a physician or nurse?

A: No. Anyone employed by a Georgia hospital is eligible for consideration.

Q: May I submit a posthumous nomination?

A: Yes.

Q: Can anyone submit an entry, even if the nominator is neither affiliated with, nor employed by, any hospital?

A: Yes.

Q: Is there a limit to the number of entries my hospital can submit?

A: No.

Q: Can I submit testimonial letters with my nomination?

A: Yes. Please send to

Q: My hospital had a winner last year. Can I still submit a nomination?

A: Yes.


Q: I submitted an entry last year, but my nominee did not win. May I resubmit the entry this year? 

A: Yes. You may submit either the same entry OR a different entry for the same nominee, whichever you prefer

Q: May I nominate more than one person or a group of people for one award?

A: This is an individual award and we strongly recommend nominating only one person per award. However, GHA recognizes that there are rare instances in which a group nomination may be appropriate. Awards given to these groups are at the judges’ discretion. 


Q: When and how are the winners notified?

A: GHA will notify the people who submitted the nominations (not the winners) a few weeks after the deadline, which is usually at the end of February. Then the nominators can share the good news with the people they nominated.

Congratulations to Our 2017 Hospital Heroes!

Hospital Heroes

Physician Hero
Randolph R. Smith, M.D. - Plastic Surgeon, Board Chairman Emeritus - University Health Care System

Lifetime Achievement Winner
Douglas C. Morris, M.D. - Professor of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine - Emory Healthcare

Past Hospital Heroes


Lifetime Achievement Winner

Hospital Heroes

Physician Heroes


  • Lowell Clark, M.D., Pediatric Intensivist, Navicent Health (Lifetime Achievement Winner)
  • Pam Ackerman, Volunteer, Hamilton Medical Center
  • Joanna Berry, RN, BSN, Emergency Department Nurse, Piedmont Newnan Hospital
  • Randi Bos, RN, Clinical Nurse, Navicent Health
  • Rev. Wright Culpepper, Director of Pastoral Care, Southeast Georgia Health System
  • Emory "Team Ebola," Emory University Hospital
  • Edward Ferguson, Clinical Informaticist, Atlanta Medical Center
  • Diana Sowell, Director of Education, Meadows Regional Medical Center
  • Gail Stroud, RN, BSN, Nurse, Gwinnett Medical Center
  • Linda Womack, Former Director of State and Government Affairs, Emory University
  • William Cooper, M.D., Medical Director of Cardiovascular Surgery, WellStar Health System (Physician Hero)


  • San Short, RN, Diabetes Educator, Upson Regional Medical Center (Lifetime Achievement Winner)
  • Jay Bailey, Dorector of Fairview Fitness Center, Fairview Park Hospital
  • Eric Bothwell, Mended Hearts Volunteer, WellStar Kennestone Hospital
  • Ginger Butera, Employee Wellness and Health Nurse, Southern Regional Medical Center
  • Karen Castle, DNP, FNP-BC, MSN, RN, Nurse Practitioner, WellStar Douglas Hospital
  • Rebecca Cogburn, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Director, Children's Hospital, Navicent Health
  • Marty Jones, RN, Archbold Medical Center
  • Rose McKeever, LPN, Nurse Clinician, DeKalb Medical Center
  • Courtney Taylor, Emergency Medical Services Director, Gordon Hospital
  • Susan Epley, M.D., OB/GYN, St. Francis Hospital (Physician Hero)
  • H. McCord Smith, M.D., Neurohospitalist, St. Mary's Health Care System (Physician Hero)


  • Marilyn Margolis, CNO, VP of Patient Services and Operations, Emory Johns Creek Hospital (Lifetime Achievement Winner)
  • Steve Beaty, M.D., St. Francis Hospital
  • R. Neal Boswell, M.D., Southeast Georgia Health System
  • Micah Brown, RN, Breast Health Nurse Navigator, North Fulton Hospital
  • Jill Hancock, RN, OCN, Manager, W.T. Anderson Infusion Center, Medical Center, Navicent Health
  • Wanda Lowe, RN,, Cancer Care Navigator, WellStar West Georgia Health
  • Kimberly Lynch, Systems and Contract Manager, Piedmont Healthcare
  • Harold Oglesby, Manager, Respiratory Therapy, St. Joseph's/Candler
  • Rodovaldo Rodriguez, M.D., Hamilton Medical Center
  • Travis Roose, AVP Cardiovascular Services, Meadows Regional Medical Center
  • Coren Ross, Volunteer, Memorial Health
The Hospital Heroes Program was launched in 2005. For names of other past winners, please contact Erin Stewart.