Molina Healthcare of Wisconsin recently celebrated the extraordinary deeds of six community heroes at its 5th annual Community Champions Awards Ceremony located at the Italian Conference Center. Each community champion was nominated by a community-based organization. Additionally, each recipient received a $1,000 grant to give to a nonprofit of their choosing.
Wisconsin's Community Champions were:
- Richard Buschmann is a retired volunteer who truly goes above and beyond to lend a hand whenever possible to make a positive impact. Richard's tireless contribution to Project Concern of Cudahy & St. Francis as a board member, volunteer, bookkeeper, delivery person, grant writer and more does not go unnoticed by those around him.
- Martha Hernandez-Gomez is a mentor with a mission to inspire Hispanics and other minorities to pursue higher education, despite any hardships or unfavorable statistics they may face. At her young age, Martha understands that in order to continue to make improvements in the Latino community, she and others will need to become successful. Thus, she is entering the last year of school to earn her BS in Biology with a Pre-Medicine emphasis.
- Jackie Johnson helps to organize, order food items, and arranges to have local nurses come into the Ebenezer Food Pantry to educate participants about how to treat chronic illnesses or health conditions they are inflicted with. The Ebenezer Food Pantry is a diabetic food pantry that is open to all Milwaukee residents and offers many healthy food alternatives for diabetics as well as fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Mary Martha Kannass is a friend, a mentor, a teacher, a shoulder to cry on and most importantly, she's a reliable and trusted resource for an entire community. Mary is an advocate for many causes: the safety of the children and families who live in her community, ensuring that basic needs are met by providing the community with resources, such as winter coats, groceries, counseling services and much more.
- Laurie Kobor is a vital resource for the Health Care Network – a non-profit organization that offers free or low-cost health care to Racine County residents. This care is made possible through the volunteer efforts of over 380 physicians, dentists, nurses and other health care professionals. She recently implemented a new system aimed at better monitoring diabetic and hypertensive patients.
- Judy Schmidt began her time volunteering at The Salvation Army on a weekly basis preparing meals for over 40 residents in the Emergency Lodge. Her ability to jazz up any leftovers, return taste to the blandest of dishes and put a smile on a resident's face at the end of a long day is extraordinary. Now, she goes above and beyond her weekly commitment by being a resource for those who are in need of job assistance.
Established to honor the memory of Dr. Molina, our Community Champions program spotlights the good deeds of everyday heroes in their communities. The Molina Healthcare Community Champions Awards event was first held in Sacramento in 2006.