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2014 'Champions of Health' Winners Announced

Aug. 04, 2014

Tulsa, OK — NewView Oklahoma has been named the recipient of the Dr. Rodney L. Huey Memorial Champion of Oklahoma Health, the highest honor of the Champions of Health awards. The program focuses on improving the health and wellness of individuals by offering comprehensive low vision services statewide.

NewView Oklahoma serves individuals with vision loss, typically ages 65 and older, in the Tulsa and Oklahoma City areas, by empowering them to reach independence through employment, rehabilitation and community outreach. These services combine low vision optometry with vision rehabilitation to help clients maximize their remaining vision. NewView Oklahoma’s innovative program is allowing seniors with vision loss the ability to continue to live safe and productive lives in their home environment.

Since 2004, the Champions of Health awards have honored those who are making a difference in the health of Oklahomans. As the Champion of Oklahoma Health, NewView Oklahoma receives a grant of $15,000, which will be presented at the 2014 Champions of Health Gala at 6 p.m. on Sept. 30 at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Bob and Lee Woodruff will be the keynote speakers. Tickets to the Champions of Health Gala are available for $100 each and may be purchased through Monday, Sept. 22 by calling 855-628-8642.

The Champions of Health Gala benefits the Oklahoma Caring Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, which provides Oklahoma children with immunizations at no charge. For more information about sponsorships or the gala, visit championsofhealth.org.

In addition to the Dr. Rodney L. Huey Memorial Champion of Oklahoma Health award, these winners also will be recognized at the gala.

  • Champion of Children's Health — Fostering Hope of Tulsa
  • Champion of the Uninsured — Morton Comprehensive Health Services, Inc.
  • Champion of Senior Health — Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma — Senior Servings Program
  • Community Health Champion — Healthy Community Store Initiative (HCSI, Inc.) — R & G Grocers
  • Corporate Health Champion — Muskogee County Emergency Services — COACHES Program

Finalists were also named in several of the categories:

  • Champion of Children's Health — Arthritis Foundation Oklahoma — Kids Get Arthritis, Too (KGAT) Program
  • Champion of the Uninsured — Neighborhood Services Organization
  • Champion of Senior Health — Southern Oklahoma Nutrition Program — Rebekah Willams
  • Community Health Champion — Resonance Center for Women
  • Corporate Health Champion — Mercy Hospital's Wellness Program — Healthification: Eat for Life

The Champions of Health program is presented by the Office of the Governor—Native American Liaison, the Oklahoma Dental Association, the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, the Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality, Oklahoma Health Care Authority, the Oklahoma Hospital Association, the Oklahoma State Department of Health and the Oklahoma State Medical Association in partnership with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma.

Additional Information About Each Winner

Champion of Children's Health — Fostering Hope of Tulsa
In Oklahoma, 12,000 children enter state custody each year, and around 6,500 children are in foster care each day. The U.S. Government Accountability Office reports that "as a group, foster children are sicker than homeless children and children living in the poorest sections of inner cities." The goal of Fostering Hope Clinic of Tulsa, operated by the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, School of Community Medicine, is to help foster children in Northeastern Oklahoma thrive by providing a medical home that ensures continuity of care in health assessments, diagnoses, and treatment of their acute and chronic medical needs.

Champion of the Uninsured — Morton Comprehensive Health Services, Inc.
Morton Comprehensive Health Services (MCHS) has a dedicated history of welcoming the uninsured and underserved for over 90 years, especially for individuals seeking preventive and sustaining care. Today, MCHS is the largest Joint Commission, Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) and community health center system in northeastern Oklahoma. Through its five locations and two satellite offices, Morton assures excellence in health care access to Oklahomans across the lifespan; no one is turned away from receiving services. MCHS' primary care services assist patients in 220 zip codes and 16 counties, guaranteeing diverse holistic care to more than 22,000 patients annually, where 54 percent are uninsured. As a Tulsa Area United Way Agency, MCHS has stayed the course for all who need care, even with a 21 percent increase in the uninsured over the last three years.

Champion of Senior Health — Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma – Senior Servings Program
One in sixteen Oklahoma seniors has to choose between purchasing food and medicine. The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma started Senior Servings in 2012 to identify and assist senior citizens who are at the highest risk of hunger. This program provides nutritious healthy food to seniors who are 60 years and older and at-risk of hunger. Senior Servings provides a choice of fresh produce, bakery items and a pre-packed bag of shelf stable food to seniors every two weeks. By partnering with low-income senior housing complexes, senior centers and congregate meal sites, the program provides a level of independence and dignity for clients. The program currently serves more than 1,200 seniors at 32 sites in 14 counties.

Community Health Champion — Healthy Community Store Initiative (HCSI, Inc.) – R & G Grocers
Healthy Community Store Initiative (HCSI) supports the heath of the community through real food access, the growth of neighborhood stores and growing local food systems. HCSI's approach is to provide immediate retail access to healthy food, establish economic opportunities for locally sourced food products, promote the consumption of healthy food choices through education demonstrations, cooking classes and incentives, thereby decreasing diet-related diseases and increasing positive health outcomes. Additionally, HCSI facilitates economic development to help residents open neighborhood Healthy Corner Stores and expand local food production opportunities.

Corporate Health Champion — Muskogee County Emergency Services – COACHES Program
Muskogee County EMS understands the unique challenges faced by their employees, such as exposure to ongoing trauma and stress in the line of duty. The agency has instituted several programs to help employees remain mentally, physically and emotionally healthy including the COACHES peer-support team, which stands for Caring for ourselves & Others Affected by Critical Happenings and Everyday Stressors. The COACHES Team is manned by all-employee volunteers who support and educate their fellow medics when faced with stressful situations and trauma, as well as operating the COACHES fund, which provides financial assistance to employees facing various life challenges, such as illness, injury, or the death of family members.


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