Winners of 2018 Healthcare Leadership Awards are honored

As originally posted on AZBigMedia.com May 11, 2018

A celebratory crowd filled the ballroom at Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort Thursday night to honor the finalists and winners of the 2018 Healthcare Leadership Awards.

“While many issues and concerns and crises compete for the public’s attention, healthcare headlines are the ones that hit home the most because they are the ones that impact our wellness,” said AZ Big Media Publisher Cheryl Green. “They are the ones that impact the well-being of those we love. That’s why more than half of all Arizonans say healthcare is their top concern in 2018. And that’s why the people we are honoring tonight are so special.”

Sponsors of the event included Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, the Arizona Medical Association and Merestone.

Here are the winners of the 2018 Healthcare Leadership Awards:


Crista-Johnson-Agbakwu• Outstanding Physician: Dr. Crista Johnson-Agbakwu (pictured left), founding director of the Refugee Women’s Health Clinic at District Medical Group and Maricopa Integrated Health System. Dr. Johnson-Abgakwu began the Refugee Women’s Health Clinic in 2008 to provide a culturally grounded, patient-centered medical home for the growing refugee community in Maricopa County. Dr. Johnson-Agbakwu has developed MIHS’s Refugee Women’s Health Clinic into the only one of its kind in the nation dedicated to reaching out to the refugee women and children.

• Community Impact: Dr. Carie Barlow, Volunteer Physician at Mission of Mercy Arizona. Dr. Barlow felt a strong desire to try to help those who were less fortunate and did not have access to quality healthcare. So since 2014, she has used her background in internal medicine background to help Mission of Mercy’s patient population, many of whom have gone years without any medical care. 

• Outstanding Healthcare Design: Orcutt | Winslow. As a homegrown firm, Orcutt | Winslow’s healthcare design studio has contributed to the planning, architecture and interior design of more than 30 major hospital campuses in Arizona, including the design of some firsts — the Surgical Transitional Intensive Care Unit at Banner Desert, the Healing Garden at Banner University Medical Center – Phoenix and Desert Pain Institute’s fully sustainable facility for pain management and outpatient care.

• Outstanding Achievement in Behavioral Health Management or Treatment: Southwest Behavioral & Health Services. When Gov. Doug Ducey declared a health emergency over the number of people dying from opioid addiction, Southwest Behavioral & Health Services helped provide the framework for the governor’s executive order. SB&H is working tirelessly to stay abreast of the national trends to improve the outcomes for opioid addicts, to save lives and to help alleviate the opioid crisis through its four statewide opioid replacement clinics.

• Outstanding Healthcare Facility: Cigna Medical Group Phoenix Central Multi-Specialty Center. Patients can see their doctor, get lab work, have an X-ray and pick up a prescription all at the Phoenix Central office. More than 6,500 patients call the Phoenix Central office their medical home, nearly 500 patients visit the center every day and 95 percent of them and extremely or very likely to recommend their doctor, according to a survey.

• Outstanding Achievement in Healthcare Delivery: Advinow Medical. James Bates and the AdviNow team developed artificial intelligence that reads medical textbooks, research and existing medical records to create the world’s most automated medical visit. The provider time, including all documentation, per patient is reduced from 20 minutes to three minutes while improving patient satisfaction and outcomes. This unique technology could change the way patients and physicians interact from now to the future.

• Outstanding Healthcare Innovator or Researcher: Dr. Michael Kruer, Neurologist at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Dr. Kruer is leading the way to finding a cure for children with cerebral palsy. He founded the Cerebral Palsy Genetic Research Network that connects physicians and researchers worldwide. Through his leadership, his team collects DNA and cell samples and performs whole exome or whole genome sequencing to identify the genetic basis of disease, hoping it unlocks a cure to this complex disorder.

• Outstanding Healthcare Executive: Peggy Chase, president and CEO of Terros Health. Chase analyzed the way providers care for patients and the way patients receive care, discovering that physical and mental health conditions are often treated in silos. Chase changed that with specialists who treat the mind and body as one. This groundbreaking model of care is yielding better patient outcomes and the community is reaping the rewards of better treatment.

• Lifetime Achievement Award: Jimmy Walker, founder of Celebrity Fight Night. Walker has helped raise more than $100 million for Arizona nonprofits. He helped build the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center and Movement Disorder Clinic at Barrow Neurological Institute. And he enlisted Harrison Ford, Jim Carrey, Celine Dion, Tom Brady, Billy Crystal, Robin Williams, Jennifer Lopez, President Donald Trump and hundreds of other A-list celebrities to help him accomplish his philanthropic work.

Original article published on MIHS Website can be found here: