It’s not always easy to live healthy. Between work and family, sometimes it’s easier to skip the gym or head to a drive-through for dinner. When we’re busy and stressed, we often reach for a candy bar instead of an apple or decide to catch up on our DVR instead of taking a family walk. We’ve all been there and understand how hard it is to make health a top priority. That’s why it’s so important to recognize people in the community who are dedicated to not only living healthy lives themselves, but helping the rest of us stay on track. I’d even go as far as calling them heroes – in fact we did!
UnitedHealthcare is proud to have teamed up with Philadelphia magazine to present the first-ever Be Well Philly Health Hero Challenge. We asked Philadelphians to tell us who their health heroes are. After 492 nominations we asked people to vote for their favorite health hero. To really get those hearts pumping, UnitedHealthcare donated one dollar to the American Heart Association for every vote cast up to $5,000. Nearly 10,000 votes later, the pool was narrowed down to just 16 nominees, followed by four finalists.
Dr. Beth DuPree, breast surgeon and medical director for Holy Redeemer’s Breast Health Program, was voted our 2012 Health Hero at a special Be Well Philly Health Hero Challenge party. Beth was inspired to lead a healthy lifestyle by her patients. Five-and-a-half years ago she found a mass in her breast – that was luckily benign – it served as her wake-up call. She always made lifestyle improvements a part of her care plan for patients, but was failing to care for herself. After her scare, she permanently changed the way she eats, exercises and deals with stress. For Beth, being physically, emotionally and spiritually “buff” has become a way of life. She put her $2,500 prize into her organization -- The Healing Consciousness Foundation -- which develops lifestyle enhancement programs including VMS Thrivers fitness classes (with Vaughn Hebron), Healthy Cooking for Life series of education, yoga, Zumba, Thrivers retreats and meditation.
The three runners-up—Students Run Philly Style’s Heather McDanel, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Stephen Brown, and Marino’s Body Shop’s Chris Marino -- each took home $250 for their charities.
All 16 nominees serve an important role: They inspire and challenge those around them to be their best selves. And for that they all deserve our gratitude.
And the nominees were…
*Beth DuPree – breast surgeon and medical director, Holy Redeemer’s Breast Health Program
*Heather McDaniel – director and founder, Students Run Philly Style
*Chris Marino – owner and personal trainer, Marino’s Body Shop
*Stephen Brown – triathlete, Team in Training coach with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and cancer survivor
Cate Dorr and Ford - Magee Rehabilitation Hospital
Bob Carrozza - school nurse at Penrose Elementary
Michele Redrow - CGI Racing
Kim Fortunato - Campbell Soup Company
Deborah Hirsch - Philly Dance Fitness
Alice Bast - National Foundation for Celiac Awareness
Nicole Marquis - Hip City Veg
Jillian Bullock - Fighting Spirit Warriors
Bob Schwelm - Bryn Mawr Running Company
Jeff Middleton - First Tee of Philadelphia
Carolyn Kaufmann - Stroller Strides
Sally Andersen - fitness instructor at KendrickRecreation Center
Read their stories.