For the second year, the professionals highlighted in our annual Champions of Health Care feature are working at the center of a public health crisis unlike any we've seen in our lifetimes.

They come from a variety of practices and backgrounds — from leading broad public health initiatives and large organizations at major hospitals to founding community-based medical practices that tend to the needs of the underserved. Every one of them, in one way or another, has been on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, in addition to ministering to the everyday needs of their patients and their communities.

Last year as we honored these health care champions, rolling out broad testing for COVID-19 was a major challenge, and the spread of the virus was escalating at an alarming rate as we awaited a vaccine.

This year, the challenge is facilitating broad distribution of the vaccine and advancing educational efforts to encourage people to protect themselves from infection. And, once again, the spread of the virus is escalating at an alarming rate as variants emerge and demand for vaccinations has fallen from its March peak.

As each challenge emerges, as our understanding of this virus evolves on a near daily basis, health care professionals across the region stand at the center of the crisis.



* Champions of Health Care 2021: Hathaway Harvey — Lifetime Achievement

* Champions of Health Care 2021: Dr. Champions of Health Care 2021: Dr. Andrea Willis — Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

* Champions of Health Care 2021: Holly Gadd — Health Care Volunteer 

* Champions of Health Care 2021: Michael Greer — Physician – Academic

* Champions of Health Care 2021: Lori Hammon — Non-physician Practitioner

* Champions of Health Care 2021: Dr. Michele Pickett — Physician – Community

* Champions of Health Care 2021: Deborah Deal — Administrative Excellence

* Champions of Health Care 2021: Council for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services — Community Outreach

* Champions of Health Care 2021: Dr. Keith Helton — Innovation in Health Care

* Champions of Health Care 2021: Brynn Byers — Rising Star

* Chris Ramsey: Remembering a giant of health care community outreach

* Take your shot: Health care and community outreach teams collaborate on vaccine efforts