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Local health heroes to receive Mt. Sinai Foundation award, recognition on WKYC

The annual Maurice Saltzman Award will be presented to local health care workers live on 3News Thursday during What Matters Most.

CLEVELAND — This week, WKYC is partnering with the Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation to present its annual Maurice Saltzman Award.

The Saltzman award has been given out for more than 35 years to an outstanding achiever in health and medicine during the foundation’s annual meeting.

But this year, the in-person meeting will not take place because of COVID-19, and so WKYC is stepping in to lead the cheers for the 2020 award recipient – which this year happens to be all Northeast Ohio frontline health care workers!

During our 6 pm “What Matters Most” newscasts this week, we will feature stories spotlighting some of the hundreds of local health care workers who reported to work during the COVID-19 crisis -- the doctors, nurses and all of those on the front line who kept our hospitals, nursing homes and group homes running.

Foundation President Mitchell Balk said his organization worked hard to find a Cleveland-style way of showing our thanks to these “health heroes,” in the spirit of New York City’s unique nightly banging of the pots.

The Saltzman award committee, he said, was determined to make it a communitywide recognition, and came up with some creative ways to recognize the health heroes. For instance, the foundation gifted 6,000 local health care workers with boxes of Girl Scout cookies earlier this month.

Also, colorful banners saluting health care workers have been placed on light poles along busy streets in health hub areas across Cleveland. The Mt. Sinai Foundation partnered with University Circle Inc. to place “Health Heroes” banners on Euclid Avenue near Cleveland Clinic and University Hospital.

Banners are also flying near MetroHealth along W. 25th Street. They have also been placed on Cedar Road across from the Montefiore and Menorah Park facilities.

Balk emphasized that those employed in high-risk environments like nursing homes and group homes are often overlooked but deserve gratitude for “working hard to keep themselves and the people they serve safe.” He added that the award also recognizes employees in public health offices for their work “to flatten the curve and reduce the local impact of the pandemic.”

WKYC is glad to join in as a partner, to broaden the reach of the Saltzman award, and say thanks not just from the foundation but the entire Northeast Ohio community to all those who continue to put their health and their lives on the line to keep patients safe during the pandemic.

Our Health Heroes series begins Tuesday, June 23, and culminates Thursday, June 25, with the Saltzman Award presentation on our 6 pm newscast. 

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