Grossmont Healthcare District recognizes 2017 Healthcare Heroes

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A camp counselor with a big (and new) heart, a woman who drives seniors to doctor appointments, an 83-year-old retired psychologist, a new U.S. citizen from Iraq and a 17-year-old high school student were among local volunteers recently recognized with a 2017 Healthcare Heroes award from the Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD).

A camp counselor with a big (and new) heart, a woman who drives seniors to doctor appointments, an 83-year-old retired psychologist, a new U.S. citizen from Iraq and a 17-year-old high school student were among local volunteers recently recognized with a 2017 Healthcare Heroes award from the Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD).

Now in its 11th year, GHD’s Healthcare Heroes awards program honors unsung volunteers of all ages and walks of life who help advance the delivery of quality healthcare in San Diego’s East Region community.

“We are proud to give a voice to the stories of these volunteers whose unsung work in healthcare might not otherwise be celebrated,” said Michael Emerson, GHD board president. “The extraordinary care and selfless dedication of these volunteers is an inspiration for all of us to contribute to a healthier East County community.”

Adam Beardsley of San Carlos, a fire prevention officer with the Chula Vista Fire Department, is a volunteer with the Burn Institute. For the past 10 years, he has spent part of his summer vacation at a camp in Ramona as a counselor at Camp Beyond the Scars, a weeklong camp for burn-injured children ages 8 to 17. Beardsley is also an advocate for organ donation, and is celebrating his two years of life following a heart transplant.

Lora Daines of La Mesa is a volunteer with ElderHelp of San Diego’s Care Coordination program, which offers seniors support through check-in calls and escorted transportation to medical appointments, grocery shopping, houses of worship, and rehabilitation and independence services. Using her own car and gasoline, Daines has added thousands of miles to her 2012 Dodge Charger after about 200 trips for ElderHelp over the past two years. In addition, she has clocked more than 300 hours talking on the phone to homebound seniors as part of ElderHelp’s “RUOK” (are you okay) program.

Jim Bull of Alpine is a volunteer with Sharp Grossmont Hospital’s “11th Hour” program, which provides compassionate companionship to dying patients so that no one dies alone. The 83-year-old retired psychologist also helps train other volunteers to provide end-of-life comfort and transitional support. Since 2013, he has donated more than 310 hours of actual bedside companionship to patients in their final moments of life. His total volunteer service to the hospital exceeds 1,100 hours.

Mohammed Tuama of El Cajon is the founder of Newcomers Support & Development, a nonprofit that helps newly arriving Middle Eastern refugees learn about and navigate American systems involving healthcare, transportation, education and civic engagement. The Iraqi native arrived in the U.S. seven years ago and became a citizen two years ago. He has assisted more than 400 families over the past five years, providing them with support and information about the U.S. health system, including the availability of healthcare services at nearby community clinics and urgent care centers.

Dylan Mayorga of El Cajon is a senior at Granite Hills High School. The 17-year-old has logged more than 615 hours of volunteer service at the hospital since joining the hospital’s Junior Volunteer program in October 2015. His shifts have included serving patients, visitors, staff and physicians in various departments, including Surgical Intensive Care and the Main Lobby. The young volunteer also has demonstrated leadership, having trained at least eight other newly recruited junior volunteers.

Awards were presented at a luncheon on Wednesday, May 17, 2017, at the Steele Canyon Golf Club in Jamul.

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