Grossmont Healthcare District honors Healthcare Hero volunteers

by Rick Griffin

Two volunteer physicians, two members of a community service club and a hospice volunteer were among this year’s recipients of a 2012 Healthcare Hero award from the Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD). Now in its sixth year, GHD’s Healthcare Hero awards program 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, said Debbie McElravy, GHD 2011 board president. Recipients of a 2012 Healthcare Hero Award included:

— Harry Bair of La Mesa began a “Vet-to-Vet” program that honors veterans under San Diego Hospice care. In a ceremony often witnessed by out-of-town family members, Bair, a Korean War veteran, will personally present the veteran with a special commemorative pin and a printed statement that thanks them for their service. He also has served as a photographer and has accompanied Santa on personal visits to the homes of terminally ill children.

— Dr. Robert Eisenberg is a practicing urologist with Urology Specialty Associates in La Mesa, but he volunteers for Project Access San Diego (PASD), a San Diego County Medical Society Foundation volunteer physician program that has helped more than 1,500 uninsured patients receive specialty medical care through a network of volunteer physicians, hospitals, surgery centers and other ancillary health services. Since joining PASD in August 2010, Eisenberg has been one of the program’s most active volunteers, seeing several patients every month.

— Dr. Steven Golbus is a retired physician who volunteers for Volunteers in Medicine (VIM), a non-profit agency that operates a free medical clinic at 1457 E. Madison Ave. in El Cajon. Before his retirement, he practiced medicine for more than 30 years, specializing in nephrology and internal medicine. He has served at VIM for the past five years as a primary care provider. In addition, he serves as VIM’s co-medical director.

— Alpine resident Carol Lewis volunteers at more than 50 events annually hosted by the Kiwanis Club of Alpine. She has volunteered at blood drives and fundraisers for Rady Children’s Hospital and the American Cancer Society. She also serves on County Supervisor Dianne Jacob’s Building Better Health Leadership Committee and chairs the Mountain Empire Collaborative. Lewis also founded the annual Foster Family Respite Day at Santee Lakes featuring a day of fun sports activities and games for foster kids and support and encouragement for their families.

— La Mesa resident Henry McAdams, nominated by the Grossmont Hospital Foundation, chairs the La Mesa Lions Club’s Sight and Hearing Committee that recycles eye glasses, hearing aids and cell phones. He has recruited and organized more than 60 East County volunteers who have collected more than 31,000 pairs of used eyeglasses. Henry then personally sorts the eyeglasses, which are delivered to a distribution center in Vallejo, Calif., and then the eye glasses are shipped to third-world countries for needy people.

The 2012 Healthcare Hero awards were presented on a luncheon held on Wednesday, May 16, at Sycuan Resort in El Cajon. Event emcee was Alpine resident Marc Bailey, TV anchor with San Diego 6.