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1911 Founders’ Circle Appreciation Luncheon and Health Care Visionary Awards

The 1911 Founders’ Circle Appreciation Luncheon and Health Care Visionary Awards was established in 2010 to honor members of HMHP Foundation’s 1911 Founder’s Circle, as well as to recognize individuals who have been making a positive impact on health in the Mahoning Valley. The luncheon is held in the spring of each year.

1911 Founders’ Circle
Named for the year that St. Elizabeth Hospital opened its doors, membership in the circle includes individuals and organizations that have donated $1,911 or more to the HMHP Foundation during the past year. Members of the Founders’ Circle are our honored guests at the luncheon.

Health Care Visionary Awards
In the spring of 2010, the HMHP Foundation introduced the Health Care Visionary Awards. One award, The Heart of the Mission, is given to someone within the HMHP family. The other, Mahoning Valley Leadership in Health, is given to someone working within the community. The annual event has become something people look forward to year after year.

In 2010, the honorees included Paul Wright, MD and June Ewing. Both were perfect examples of the work the Health Care Visionary Awards is meant to honor. Dr. Wright was a driving force in developing the hugely successful prescription assistance program at HMHP. This program positively affects hundreds of Mahoning Valley residents each year by providing reduced cost pharmaceuticals to those in need. Ms. Ewing has spent most of her career teaching the Mahoning Valley community about nutrition, healthy eating and disease prevention. By personally reaching out to those most at risk for poor eating habits, June has had a vast impact on Valley residents.

The 2011 honorees, Dr. M. Frank Beck and Dr. Thomas E. Albani, Jr. have both made a major impact on health in our community, especially those who are poor and underserved. Dr. Beck has spent countless hours working with the ambulatory dental clinic at HMHP, both training new residents and obtaining funding to better the essential program that provides free or reduced cost dental care to Valley residents. Dr. Albani, a family practice physician in Canfield, also operates the Midlothian Free Clinic providing care for those without health insurance or means to pay. Both programs provide much needed services to the community.

2012 Heart of the Mission Award:
Rashid Abdu, MD, is a true renaissance man. An accomplished surgeon who practices at St. Elizabeth Wound Care Center, Dr. Abdu is a tutor and mentor to the students at Harding Elementary School, a photographer who has had his works shown at the Butler Museum of Art, a humanitarian who has participated in many medical missions here and abroad, a goodwill ambassador to Yemen for the U.S. State Department and, most recently, a fund-raiser. Dr. Abdu has visited dozens of individuals to share his vision and to fulfill a promise he made to his late wife, that no woman should have to leave the Valley to receive world class breast care. His partnership with HMHP has resulted in the Joanie Abdu Comprehensive Breast Care Center

Mahoning Valley Leadership in Health Award:
Brian Corbin has been called a leader and a visionary by those who know him. As executive director of Catholic Charities Services and diocesan coordinator for Catholic Health Affairs for the Diocese of Youngstown, Brian is committed to helping people find solutions to the desperate situations in which they may find themselves. He earned a bachelor’s degree in moral philosophy and international relations from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and is currently completing his doctorate in political economy from MIT. He teaches at Walsh University and holds many board positions within the community, including serving as the treasurer for the HMHP Board of Directors.

Dr. Raymond E. Whelan Legacy Society 
In the early 1900s, Dr. Raymond E. Whelan, along with Charles Cushwa Sr., approached Bishop John Farrelly of the Cleveland Diocese with the request for a Catholic hospital to take care of all of Youngstown’s population, regardless of economic status, race, creed or ethnicity. Bishop Farrelly gave his blessing and paired the men with the Sisters of the Humility of Mary. Through this partnership St. Elizabeth Hospital was born. Dr. Whelan became the first Chief of Medical Staff at the hospital. His future wife, Margaret Gallagher, was Dr. Whelan’s first surgical nurse. To honor the accomplishments of Dr. Raymond E. Whelan, the HMHP Foundation has established the Dr. Raymond E. Whelan Legacy Society for those who have made provisions in their estate plans to help continue the mission of HMHP into its next 100 years.