Buelow Honored with Health Care Hero Award
This past December, the Georgia Medical Society held its 18th annual Health Care Heroes Awards banquet honoring individuals who were nominated for their involvement in making health care better in the community. Nominations were accepted for six unique categories: Health Care Innovations, Health Care Education, Community Outreach, Institutions/Organizations, Allied Health Professionals and Physicians Lifetime Achievement.
During the banquet, Janet Buelow, Ph.D., professor of health sciences, was honored with a Health Care Hero Award for the Community Outreach category. This award recognized Buelow for her work leading up to the recent Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) exercise, Operation Empower Health-Greater Savannah.
Buelow and colleague, Sister Mary-Anne Plaskon, wrote the original proposal requesting Operation Empower Health-Greater Savannah, be held in Savannah, Georgia, and Buelow assisted with the military site visits for the finalists. Once Savannah was selected as the site for the exercise, Buelow was part of the planning team and helped with the development of two IRT undergraduate courses and one IRT graduate course. During the nine-day event, the students involved in the courses assisted with moving patients as efficiently as possible through the services offered. They also provided community referrals for follow-up and health education sessions during the long waiting times.
Approximately 85 Georgia Southern University undergraduate and graduate students in the Waters College of Health Professions along with Georgia Southern faculty volunteered their time during the event. In addition to Buelow, faculty volunteers included Laurie Adams, Ed.D., RT(T), Andi Beth Mincer, PT, Ed.D., Helen Taggart, Ph.D., RN, Deb Hagerty, DNP, RN, NHA, FACDONA, Shaunell McGee, MHA, RT(R), Yvonne Dillon, BSRS, RDMS, Doug Masini, Ed.D., RPFT, RPT-NPS, AE-C, FCCP, FAARC, Paula Tillman, DNP, McKinley Thomas, Ed.D., Sara Plaspohl, DrPh, Carla English, MHSA, Luz Quirimit, MSN, RN.
“Our work could never have been accomplished if I didn’t have wonderful support from both administrators and my fellow peers,” stated Buelow. “It really was a real College of Health Professions event. Each professor was very supportive with ideas on how to get their students involved and then helped with encouraging students to join the IRT courses.” Later, professors worked in the sites by assisting with ongoing registration, keeping the dogs and cats calm, as well as keeping glasses organized for those coming back to pick them up, and of course encouraging students as they engaged with patients.
During Operation Empower Health-Greater Savannah, approximately 8,000 individuals in the local community received free primary care medical procedures and referrals, as well as nearly 1,400 pets were seen for free spay/neuter surgeries and preventative vaccines