2013 Caritas Celebrates Award Winners Announced - Saint Vincent and Duchesne Clinics to Honor Local Heroes

LEAVENWORTH, KS (December 13, 2012) - Caritas Clinics, Inc. - Saint Vincent and Duchesne Clinics, is pleased to announce the 2013 Caritas Celebrates Honorees. Awards will be presented to each honoree at the annual Caritas Celebrates event on Saturday, April 20, 2013 at the KCI Expo Center. In addition to recognizing these heroes who have given so much to the clinics, this fun, Caribbean-themed evening will include dinner, dancing and a wonderful silent auction to support on-going patient health needs at Saint Vincent and Duchesne Clinics.

Kenneth Bergeron of Leawood, Kansas will be honored with the 2013 Sister Rosalie Mahoney Award for living the spirit of Sister Rosalie Mahoney through tireless dedication and service to the mission of Saint Vincent and Duchesne Clinics.

As an active member of Ascension Parish and the Catholic community, Mr. Bergeron has sought out opportunities to help those in need. In paying for his own medication he understood how expensive this can be and also how critical. For the last 10 years his generosity has made it possible for thousands of patients to receive life-saving medication, who otherwise would have gone without.

When asked how he feels about the clinics Mr. Bergeron said, “ I admire the staff and volunteers, and all that is done for the patients.”

St. Agnes Catholic Parish will receive the 2013 Caritas Award as a community partner who, in the spirit of Louise de Marillac, enables the clinics to serve neighbors with humility and kindness, and is a bridge to connect those who have and those who have not.

Since its beginning in 1923, St. Agnes Parish has seen a world of change, both physically and spiritually. Under the direction of the pastor and many people who volunteer their time and talents, the church continues to grow and flourish. Currently, more than 1,500 families call St. Agnes home. St. Agnes Parish has been a faithful supporter of Duchesne Clinic for more than years. Each month St. Agnes and its members provide funding which assists the clinics in delivering patient care.

“We, the Saint Agnes Parish Family, united in the Eucharist, are called by the Holy Spirit to encounter our heavenly Father and to love and serve Jesus Christ in all people: born and unborn.”

Mayor Kenneth Bernard of the City of Lansing has been named Community Servant of the Year as an elected official who supports the mission and work of Saint Vincent and Duchesne Clinics, and promotes access to quality healthcare for the poor and vulnerable in the communities served by the clinics.

After retiring from the Army Mayor Bernard has continued his career of public service, first as a City Councilman and for the past 28 years as Mayor. His work was recognized by the League of Kansas Municipalities with the 2012 E. A. Mosher Award for Excellence in Local Government. In addition he serves on the Board of Directors of United Way of Leavenworth County and the Transportation Committee at Mid-America Regional Council.

Mayor Bernard has long served as a champion for his city’s support of the Clinics and “firmly believes that everyone in need should be provided health care.”

The Corner Pharmacy in Leavenworth, KS and Abrams Pharmacy in Kansas City, KS will receive Business of the Year awards as businesses who partner with Saint Vincent and Duchesne Clinics to improve the health of individuals and communities, promotes healthy communities through their work in Leavenworth or Wyandotte Counties, and/or promotes healthy work environments for their employees and the people of Leavenworth or Wyandotte Counties.

Each of these businesses have partnered with the clinic in their community since before the first patient was seen. As active and caring members of the communities, owners/pharmacists Ronald R. Booth (Corner) and Charlie Carter (Abrams) are committed to giving back.

According to Booth, “Saint Vincent Clinic has needs that need to be filled. If everyone does something, no matter how small the needs can be met.” Carter says that he supports “Duchesne Clinic because of the years of continuous high quality healthcare the clinic provides in the KCK area.”

“It is our privilege to recognize these Honorees for their contributions to the clinics, and to work alongside them day in and day out, on our common goal of ensuring that the poor and uninsured have access to quality health care. We do it not because it is easy, but because it is the right thing to do. Each of these partners understand that just as much as we do,” said Amy Falk, Executive Director.

Honorees were nominated by community partners and clinic volunteers for their dedication and commitment to the work of the clinics. “This year brought a very strong pool of nominations; twenty-one wonderful, engaged people and groups were nominated. As the selection committee vetted these nominations, we were struck once again by the strong relationships our generous supporters maintain with the mission of the clinics and how challenging it is to select just one person or group to honor for each award. In fact, the committee made a rare decision to honor two Businesses of the Year, one in each of the communities we serve,” said Falk.

The clinics provide a wide range of services, including diagnosis and treatment of acute illnesses; ongoing management of chronic diseases; referrals for dental, optical and specialized medical care; and assistance with access to prescription medication for low-income, uninsured adult residents of Leavenworth and Wyandotte Counties. In 2012, the clinics have served over 3,000 patients, averaging 74 visits per day between the two clinics.

To learn more or support Saint Vincent or Duchesne Clinics, contact Debbie Sparks at 913-651-8860.

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