News from the Grossmont Healthcare District
The Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD), a public agency that supports health-related community programs and services in San Diego’s East County region, has honored eight East County residents with a 2008 Healthcare Hero Award.
The awards program, now in its second year, recognizes and rewards front-line volunteers, caregivers and other individuals who help advance the delivery of health care and improve the quality of life for East County residents, according to Jim Stieringer, GHD 2008 board president.
“We are proud to honor these unsung healthcare heroes who have gone the extra mile in volunteer service and beyond their scope of work to inspire others by giving extraordinary care and positively affecting the health and welfare of those living within the District’s boundaries,” said Stieringer. “This year’s recipients represent an extraordinary group of volunteers who were nominated by their peers.”
The recipients of a Grossmont Healthcare District 2008 Healthcare Hero Award were:
-- Jolene Bettis, a junior at El Capitan High School in Lakeside, and Alejandra Martinez, a junior at Granite Hills High School in El Cajon, volunteer as public health interns with Students Together Against Alcohol ‘N Drugs, a program of Communities Against Substance Abuse (CASA), East County’s oldest, community based, non-profit organization dedicated solely to substance abuse prevention. Jolene and Alejandra have volunteered as peer advocates against substance abuse and have served as underage “decoys” to assess youth access to tobacco products.
-- Joe and Kay Drew of El Cajon, long-time supporters of Sharp Grossmont Hospital, have volunteered thousands of hours and tens of thousands of dollars in support of hospital services. Since 1966, Kay has given more than 8,500 hours of service, including serving three terms as Auxiliary president and holding various other roles over the years. In 1998, Joe joined his wife as a volunteer by chairing the “Partnership for the Future Campaign” to build the hospital’s Emergency and Critical Care Center. Under his leadership, nearly $10 million was raised for the building effort.
-- Veronika Glenn of Spring Valley serves as director of training and education for the Southern Caregiver Resource Center, a private, non-profit organization that helps families and caregivers with services related to caring for older adults. As a volunteer in the caregiver healthcare field, she has served more than 10,000 East County residents during the past 10 years with educational programs and training services that address the emotional, physical and financial needs of family caregivers. She specializes in supporting families faced with caring for loved ones with chronic and debilitating illnesses.
-- Jillian Hanson-Cox, an El Cajon city council member, has quietly devoted thousands of hours to behind-the-scenes volunteerism for a variety of causes, including the health and welfare of seniors and families. In 2006, she established Seniors on the Move, an ad hoc advisory committee that addresses the transportation issues of the elderly. She has participated in numerous speaking engagements on such topics as safety awareness, drug abuse and disaster preparedness to groups of school children and community organizations. During the October 2007 firestorm, she worked tirelessly to set up three horse evacuation sites in El Cajon, and personally paid for much-needed cots, sleeping bags and pillows for displaced families.
-- Phillip Hubbs of Alpine is a 30-year veteran of the San Diego Police Department who founded five years ago his own non-profit educational organization called Proactive Network Against Substance Abuse (PRONASA), which provides drug education to middle and high school students. Most of the PRONASA volunteers have a law enforcement background. With the support of law enforcement, school administrators and prevention, intervention and treatment organizations, Phil is making a difference with his contributions toward a drug-free community.
-- Donna “Molly” Quinton of Santee, a firefighter with the City of Santee’s Fire and Emergency Services Department, has volunteered for the past 18 years for Santee Santas, a non-profit organization that helps families in Santee during the Christmas holidays. For the last three years, Molly has served as chairman of Santee Santas. In 2007, Santee Santas helped 173 families, including more than 400 children and teenagers.
East County residents were invited to submit names of possible award recipients and more than 30 nominations were received, according to Gloria Chadwick, GHD board member who serves as chair of GHD’s Public Relations & Outreach Committee, which coordinates the annual awards program.
“We were very impressed with every nominee, which made the selection process difficult and challenging,” Chadwick said. “We are looking forward to next year when we will again ask local residents for additional names of volunteers deserving of this highly coveted recognition. The public’s involvement will make the Healthcare Heroes awards a resounding success for years to come.”
Both award recipients and nominees were honored at a luncheon held on May 6, 2008, at Sycuan Resort in Dehesa Valley. Carol LeBeau, KGTV-TV 10News anchor and health reporter, served as emcee at the event.
The Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD), formed in 1952 to build and operate Grossmont Hospital, serves as landlord of the hospital, including ownership of the property and buildings on behalf of local taxpayers. The District is governed by a five-member board of directors, each elected to four-year terms, who represent nearly 500,000 people residing within the District's 750 square miles in San Diego's East County. In 1991, the District leased the hospital's operation to Sharp HealthCare under a 30-year lease that runs through the year 2021. For more information about GHD, visit
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