Multiple members of the Methodist University community were recognized on Thursday night for making an impact on the health care industry in the Fayetteville area.
The Greater Fayetteville Business Journal hosted the first Health Care Heroes Awards at the Highland Country Club, highlighting the people who have made selfless contributions for the health and wellness of their neighbors.
Nine awards were presented as nominations were made by the community with finalists and winners selected by a judging panel. Two of the awards were presented to MU community members:
- Innovation in Health Care: Dr. Hershey Bell; Dean, Methodist University Cape Fear Valley Health School of Medicine
- Volunteer: Dr. Rakesh Gupta; Chair, MU Board of Trustees
“I’m truly honored and humbled,” said Gupta, a retired gastroenterologist who volunteers his time at various local organizations while chairing the MU Board of Trustees. “Being a physician and then being nominated as a volunteer is a dream. I must congratulate my wife, Vinita Gupta, who is truly my partner in this entire endeavor. I also congratulate all of the nominees and all of my colleagues involved.”
The ceremony also recognized other members of the MU community through award nominations:
- Nurse: Dr. Shannon Matthews; MU’s Chair and Director of Nursing, Associate Professor of Nursing
- Volunteer Award: W. Dickson Shaefer; MU Board of Trustees member
- Unsung Hero Award: Franklin Clark III; Longtime supporter of MU
“I feel a great deal of pride about this,” said Methodist University President Stanely T. Wearden, who had an opportunity to announce the Innovation in Health Care and Volunteer categories during last night’s event. “At MU, we’ve been moving more into the health care field and this is evidence that people are starting to notice that. At a larger level, I’m happy there’s an event like this that can honor our health care heroes, whether they have connections to MU or not. They don’t get nearly the credit they deserve for the work they do.”
MU senior Nailea Torres, who is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Nursing in May, was awarded a scholarship for outstanding achievement during the event.
Methodist University is considered a top university in the region for higher education in the health sciences. MU and Cape Fear Valley Health announced earlier this year the intent to establish a state-of-the-art medical school that will train the next generation of health care professionals.
The University also houses state-of-the-art facilities on campus that include a general simulation hospital, human anatomy lab, motion analysis lab, and several other labs and facilities housing Physician Assistant, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Nursing, and other programs.