Paying Tribute to Unsung Heroes

Heather Dawn Stewart

October 7, 2014

Long-time readers of Utah Business are familiar with our recognition programs. We honor various people just about every month: rising executives and entrepreneurs, excellent sales and marketing executives, women who are making waves in the business world, and many others. But none of these beat our annual Healthcare Heroes for sheer inspirational value.

We are, every one of us, impacted by healthcare professionals. No matter our title, economic situation, age, favorite college team, high school grades, waist circumference or skills on the dance floor, at some point we will find ourselves vulnerable, in a paper gown on an exam table.

I will never forget the nurse who sat quietly by my side in the worst hour of the worst day of my life. She simply sat next to me while I cried. And when my toddler fractured his leg jumping off of a ledge, I was abashed when every healthcare worker, from his pediatrician to the radiologist to the tech who applied the cast, intently quizzed me about how the accident happened. I felt their scrutiny deeply—but I knew they were trying to protect my son and I was grateful for it. I will also be forever grateful to the hospice workers who eased my mother’s pain—and our family’s anxiety—as she slipped away from us.

We all have these stories, so it is a great honor to be able to shine the spotlight on these heroes each year. Their stories are truly inspirational, from dedicated volunteers who comfort those who are grieving to physicians who are working to improve and formalize standards of care.

One of our honorees, Dr. Thomas Caine, is renowned for his personal interest and investment in each patient. Caine has been known to meet patients at the ER soon after their calls, check in on hospitalized patients on his day off, and show up at doctor appointments from his referrals. “As I walked into my appointment, who should show up but Dr. Caine,” recalls Dr. Dick Baringer, who Dr. Caine referred to a cardiologist. “I’ve never had that happen, where my internist would take enough interest in my issues and stay during the entire visit.”

Another honoree, nurse Sue Meihls, has fully embraced the challenge of caring for children with cystic fibrosis, a terrible genetic disease that devastates the lungs and other organs. Her husband, Dan Meihls, says most never realize how much time and energy she brings to her work. “Sue puts in numerous hours that don’t go on the clock for her patients and for her to learn more and more about the disease. She truly gives her all in this position,” he says.

You can find all of our 2014 Healthcare Heroes here. I am certain you will find them as inspirational as I do. 

From the Editor

Heather Dawn Stewart

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