From a daredevil nurse who saves lives at 2,000 feet to an innovative market that provides food pantry clients with fresh produce, this year's honorees remind us how fortunate we are when it comes to healthcare in central Ohio.

When it comes to healthcare, central Ohio is rich. We’ve got four highly regarded health systems supporting our families with quality medical care, contributing billions annually to the economy and employing more than 45,000 people, according to Columbus 2020.

So it isn’t difficult to find heroes among the professionals who tend to our sick, advance technical discoveries, collaborate on ways to keep our population well and safeguard our most vulnerable neighbors.

Among this year’s class of Columbus CEO Healthcare Achievement Award winners, the seventh annual, are a daredevil nurse who has spent decades saving lives flying at 2,000 feet in a helicopter; a pharmacy that’s blazing a national trail by offering free medications to the many people who can’t afford them; a “market” where food pantry clients have access to 900,000 pounds of fresh produce a year; and many more stories that make us sit back and marvel at the innovation, empathy, kindness and courage alive in the central Ohio community. You can find these tales on the following pages—I hope you’ll take pride in these heroes’ achievements.

Katy Smith is the editor.

The 2019 Healthcare Achievement Awards are Thursday, March 28, at The Estate at New Albany. Tickets are on sale now. 



Columbus CEO is indebted to the eight healthcare leaders from diverse backgrounds who served as judges for our Healthcare Achievement Awards. The judges scored nominations based on specific criteria for each category. Accumulated results determine winners and finalists. With thanks for their invaluable contributions, we’re proud to partner with these judges:

Bill Hardy, president and CEO, Equitas Health
A primary care provider for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning people. He received our Healthcare Trailblazer award in 2017 and the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in the Health Care and Technical Services category.

Bridget Gargan, executive director, Ohio Association of County Boards of Developmental Disabilities
Serves people with developmental disabilities. She is a former vice president of government affairs for the Ohio Hospital Association and worked for long-time Ohio House speaker Vern Riffe.

Reed Fraley, retired COO, Primary OneHealth
Recently retired chief operating officer of PrimaryOne Health, formerly known as Columbus Neighborhood Health Center. Fraley previously served as senior vice president of the Ohio Hospital Association and as CEO of the Ohio State University Health System.

Teresa Long, retired, Columbus Health Department
Retired as Columbus’ first female health commissioner, Long is now a special adviser on community engagement and partnerships for OSU’s College of Public Health. In 2018 she received our Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dr. Patricia Gabbe, pediatrician and pediatrics professor, Ohio State University
She is also founder and director of Moms2B Ohio and won the Rising Above award, one of Columbus CEO’s first healthcare recognitions in 2013. She has spent most of her medical career battling infant mortality.

Dr. David Sabgir, cardiologist, clinical cardiovascular specialist at Mount Carmel St. Ann’s
He’s founder and CEO of Walk with a Doc, now operating in communities worldwide, and 2016 Columbus CEO Pathway to Population Health award winner. In 2015 he was recognized as a CNN Hero.

Amy Rohling McGee, president, Health Policy Institute of Ohio
A nonprofit that provides healthcare analysis and information for state policymakers. She previously was executive director of the Ohio Association of Free Clinics. She serves on the Ohio State University Alumni Council.

Brent Mulgrew, retired executive director, Ohio State Medical Association
He was a 2016 Lifetime Achievement winner in our Healthcare Achievement Awards. He retired in 2014 after 42 years with the Ohio State Medical Association.