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Chesapeake Regional Healthcare Receives Seven 2023 Health Care Hero Awards

June 20, 2023

CHESAPEAKE, Va. –  Each year, Inside Business recognizes outstanding individuals and organizations that are making a noteworthy difference in health care across Hampton Roads. There are 27 honorees this year and seven are associated with Chesapeake Regional Healthcare. Each award recognizes an individual, company, or organization for their contributions to improving health care in Hampton Roads.

It took just one experience at Chesapeake Regional Healthcare for Leonard Clark to know he wanted to volunteer his time here. Since 2018, he has volunteered every Tuesday for eight hours, bringing his total volunteer hours to over 1,500. Leonard works in the post-anesthesia unit where patients are monitored following surgery. According to one of his coworkers, “Leonard always makes sure everyone else has eaten or had breaks before himself.” When asked why he volunteers his time, he said, “I’ve had a decent life and I think that when you can, you ought to give back to the community.”

Rebecca “Becki” Sentell is an infusion nurse and clinical coordinator at Chesapeake Regional Healthcare’s Priority Toyota Cancer Center. In her nomination, Kimberly Newton, director of acute care and oncology said: “Becki has a spirit that naturally shines. Patients undoubtedly love her. It is not uncommon to see patients from years past walk into the department to give Becki a hug with tears hanging in their eyes as they thank her for her lasting compassion. She truly cares for people and people feel and appreciate that.”

Stephen Hsiang-Han Lin has been a general surgeon for two decades, with the last 10 years at Chesapeake Regional Healthcare where he specializes in advanced minimally invasive robotic, laparoscopic, and single-site surgery techniques. He divides his outpatient time between Chesapeake Regional Surgical Specialists offices in Chesapeake and Elizabeth City. Dr. Lin grew up in rural North Carolina and so he happily supports our surgical practice in Elizabeth City because it makes life easier for patients who can have all their pre- and post-operative appointments close to home. 

Nathalie Evans is the employee health and wellness nurse practitioner and health coach for Chesapeake Regional Healthcare’s employee wellness program. She was brought on board in 2010 to establish the health system’s employee wellness clinic and has managed its growth since. Stella McClain, manager of occupational health, says: “Nathalie’s passion is promoting employee well-being, with deep empathy that includes physical and mental health, caring for the whole person and guiding our employees to better health. I am proud to work with her and happy to support our employees with her talent.”

LeRosea “Rosie” Cothern works part-time as a CPR instructor at Chesapeake Regional Healthcare’s Lifestyle Health & Fitness Center. She was nominated to be a Health Care Hero for her quick thinking and response to an emergency last summer when she had the unexpected opportunity to put her skills to work. Rosie was in her car preparing to go to an event to teach a hands-only CPR class and the importance of early heart attack care when a car erratically drove by her and crashed into the curb. Rosie was in the right place at the right time and armed with essential life-saving skills, saving the man’s life. 

The South Norfolk Civic League approached Chesapeake Regional Healthcare about building a pharmacy in the area because there hadn’t been a pharmacy there for nearly 25 years. Chesapeake Rx, on Bainbridge Boulevard, opened in January 2020. The staff is committed to being a “neighborhood pharmacy,” providing all the same items and services as major competitors but with hometown service.  It’s partnered with other organizations and continually works to help solve community healthcare gaps and decrease disparities in health in South Norfolk.  Amy Schultz, Chesapeake Regional’s director of pharmacy, said that in a hospital-run pharmacy like this, pharmacists can take the time to help customers with special services “We’re kind of experts at navigating and helping patients find cheaper alternatives to something their plan may or may not cover,” she said. “… We’re able to deliver very patient-centered, real-time care.”

Chesapeake Regional Healthcare’s Summer Externship and Scholarship Program provides on-the-job training and mentorship to rising high school seniors who plan to pursue higher education in health care fields while staying in Hampton Roads. The program is for rising seniors whose parents or guardians work at Chesapeake Regional Healthcare as well as students from the Chesapeake Career Center. The goal is to invest in local talent and foster a long-term relationship with the students to build a pipeline of skilled health care professionals. “This is designed to be a grow-our-own program,” said Reese Jackson, president and CEO of Chesapeake Regional Healthcare, who pushed to develop the program. “It’s designed to be consistent with who we are. We exist to support the community.”

Health Care Hero awards epitomize the spirit embodied in the word “hero” for those delivering health care to our community. The goals of the program are to recognize excellence, promote innovation, encourage emulation of successful programs, educate the public, contribute to the enhancement of the value and quality of health care, and to give recognition to those deserving.

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2023 Health Care Hero Awardees