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2016 Champions of Health Winners Announced

Jul. 14, 2016
Champions of Health

Tulsa, OKVeterans Corner, Inc.  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 non-profit organization, which is housed in Newcastle, is comprised of volunteer veterans who are dedicated to helping other veterans and their spouses. Whether it's getting transportation to a doctor appointment, seeking help with a Veterans Affairs (VA) claim, or providing non-perishable food to families, Veterans Corner, Inc. has found a way to give back to those who have fought for our freedom. As the overall winner, Veterans Corner, Inc. will receive a $15,000 grant which will be presented at the 2016 Champions of Health gala on Sept. 27 at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma is home to approximately 350,000 veterans and 47,000 active duty personnel. Since inception in 2003, Veterans Corner, Inc.'s volunteer team has assisted over 65,000 veterans and spouses with VA claims, in all of Oklahoma's 77 counties. In 2015, more than 490 veterans from out-of-state were also assisted. Veterans Corner, Inc.'s volunteers help over 100 veterans and spouses each week, and will use the grant money to help further their reach.

In addition to the Dr. Rodney L. Huey Memorial Champion of Oklahoma Health award, category winners will receive a $5,000 grant and finalists will receive a $1,000 grant, with exception of the Corporate Health Champion. The following organizations will also be recognized:

Champion of Children's Health

Winner: Hearts for Hearing 

Hearts for Hearing began in 2007 to provide audiology and speech therapy services for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Hearing loss no longer has to be a disability that separates a child from a hearing and talking world because Hearts for Hearing can diagnose hearing loss in the first weeks of life, fit hearing aids and cochlear implants as soon as possible, and begin specialized therapy.

Finalist: Desiree Dougherty/ The Parent Child Center of Tulsa 

Champion of the Uninsured

Winner: Crossings Community Clinic 

Crossings Community Clinic is a ministry outreach of Crossings Community Church, working to serve the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the uninsured and medically vulnerable. Services available include medical, dental, eye care and integrated behavioral health. Since May of 2005 the clinic has provided services for 49,600 patient visits valued at $18.9 million, with the aid of 102,000 hours of volunteer services. Ninety-nine percent of the patients cared for are at or below 300 percent of federal poverty level.

Finalist: Ministries of Jesus, Inc. (Oklahoma City) 

Champion of Senior Health

Winner: Sunbeam Family Services 

Sunbeam Family Services has promoted the quality of life for senior adults for more than 40 years, and serves more than 1,500 seniors through eight programs, including Oklahoma's only Emergency Senior Shelter. The unique shelter serves homeless seniors 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Seniors come to the shelter with many mental health and physical health limitations. During a 30 day stay, residents are supported by therapists from Sunbeam's counseling program, receive meals and weekly laundry while developing a plan to address health and wellness needs, housing and furniture needs, and employment and financial stability needs.

Finalist: Mental Health Association Oklahoma (Tulsa) 

Community Health Champion

Winner: Hospitality House of Tulsa, Inc. 

Hospitality House of Tulsa (HHT) compassionately assists families in medical crisis, with a mission to offer a home away from home for families in medical crisis. The organization provides lodging, meals, laundry, transportation, and emotional and spiritual support, along with health and care-giving education for approximately 800 families each year. After 10 years of successfully serving families who have traveled to one of Tulsa's 14 hospitals seeking medical care, other hospitals across the state have tasked HHT with expanding services to assist their patients.

Finalist: OpenTable Community Café, Inc. (Owasso) 

Corporate Health Champion

Winner: OU Fit 

OU Physicians, a subsidiary of OU Medicine, is the state's largest physician group and encompasses almost every adult and child specialty. With over 800 employees, the organization is committed to improving overall wellness of its employees and affiliates. The "OU Fit" program focuses on five dimensions important to transforming the way employees think: Healthy Living, Activity, Nutrition, Prevention/Risk Reduction and Community/Education. From group fitness classes, community events, wellness challenges and cooking seminars, OU Physicians believes that in order to provide quality care to patients, investing in employee health is a priority.

Finalist: Alicja Carter, Gateway to Prevention and Recovery (Shawnee) 

About Champions of Health

Since 2004, the Champions of Health awards have honored organizations and individuals who are making a difference in the health of Oklahomans. The Champions of Health gala benefits The Oklahoma Caring Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization that provides Oklahoma children with immunizations at no charge. Actor and author Rob Lowe will be the 2016 Champions of Health keynote speaker. Individual tickets and sponsorships are available. For information, call 855-628-8642 or visit .

The Champions of Health awards program is presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, in partnership with the Office of Secretary of State and Native American Affairs, the Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians, the Oklahoma Dental Association, the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, the Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, the Oklahoma Hospital Association, the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association, the Oklahoma Primary Care Association, the Oklahoma State Department of Health and the Oklahoma State Medical Association.

The Oklahoma Caring Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit organization administered as an in-kind gift by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, a division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

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