UTMB's Dr. Garland Anderson and Dr. David Yngve were honored recently as Health Care Heroes at the 2011 Houston Business Journal Health Care Heroes Luncheon awards event, part of the fifth-annual Celebrate Enterprise conference and forum. The Health Care Heroes awards honor those who serve, innovate and save lives.

Anderson, executive vice president and provost and dean of medicine, was honored with the Lifetime Achievement award; Yngve, professor and chief, Pediatric Orthopaedics, received the Doctor award; and Nellie Loewen, a nursing program coordinator in UTMB’s Emergency Department, was one of two finalists for the Nurse award.

Anderson was nominated by Donna Sollenberger, executive vice president and chief executive officer, UTMB Health System. In her nomination letter, Sollenberger said, “I am nominating Dr. Anderson for this award in recognition of his lifetime commitment to the field of medicine, and in particular, to providing access to health care for the most vulnerable in our society, pregnant women and their babies.” In addition, she said, “Dr. Anderson has displayed an unwavering commitment to establishing programs at UTMB that support diversity and create a welcoming culture where everyone has the opportunity to succeed. He has also worked hard to improve access to health care for all. His leadership is essential to the success of UTMB’s mission of achieving and maintaining a diverse student body and faculty, and addressing health care disparities.”

Yngve’s nomination letter states that he is “devoted to the care of children who have a physical disability due to cerebral palsy.” Yngve says he sees each child that he treats as a distinct and separate individual and does not think of himself as a hero. As part of the search for constant improvement and excellence in the care of cerebral palsy patients, Yngve has “introduced a new minimally invasive surgery, called SPML (Selective Percutaneous Myofascial Lengthening) or PERCS, that relieves tightness and overactivity in the patients’ legs. Since this procedure has less risk and a faster and easier recovery, children who were not previously candidates for surgery can now benefit. This has provided a paradigm shift in the care of these children.” Watch a video that spotlights a patient of Yngve’s and the successful outcome of the surgery he performed.

Nellie Loewen is an Emergency Department nurse and is UTMB’s SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) program coordinator. Nellie was nominated by Annette Macias-Hoag, senior administrator, Health Systems and Service Line Operations and interim nursing director for the Emergency Department. According to Macias-Hoag, “Nellie has recognized that not every nurse is able to care for patients that have undergone the trauma of a sexual assault. She has developed a program that recognizes the complex needs of sexual assault victims and shows everyone how to care for them in a humane manner, while addressing their medical, forensic and emotional needs during the exam process.” She continues, “Nel has made a difference in the lives of the patients and the families that have suffered as a result of a sexual assault.”

Anderson, Yngve, and Loewen, congratulations on your achievements! UTMB is proud to have you as members of our family.