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Health care heroes to be honored

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Parents without healthcare insurance have a champion in southern Denton County.  For 16 years, PediPlace has been providing pediatric care for children from birth to age 18 far beyond the city limits of its Lewisville facility.

“There are families, even with both parents working, who can’t afford private healthcare insurance which can cost $800 or $1,000 a month,” said Jasmin Holmstrup, development officer for PediPlace. “People can’t afford a mortgage and also spend one-third of their salary for insurance.”

An example of the more than 35,000 children the PediPlace staff cares for each year is a family in Lantana.

The single mother works fulltime, but lives with her mother, both to save money and allow her two children to attend Lantana’s schools. Both children require medications for chronic health conditions, but their mother’s employer doesn’t provide healthcare insurance.

“If a family earns $45 to $60 thousand annually, it makes too much to qualify for Medicaid,” said Holmstrup. “Most middle-income families can quality for CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) coverage and PediPlace is an approved provider.”

Last year, PediPlace honored founders Dr. Mark Holt and Dr. Darla Kincaid for their vision and inspired leadership as part of their 15-year anniversary celebration.

This year, Texas State Sen. Jane Nelson and Dr. Dan Corbitt of Orthopedic Associates & Sports Medicine of Lewisville and Flower Mound will be honored as the PediPlace Health Heroes 2010.

The annual fundraising event will be emceed by KLUV radio morning show host Jody Dean on Thursday, March 25, at Celebrations in Highland Village from 5:30 to 9 p.m.

“Both Sen. Nelson and Dr. Corbitt and their staffs have a direct impact on the health and well-being of children, making a difference in their lives and future,” said Larry Robins, executive director of PediPlace.

This year’s PediPlace “HealthCare Hero,” Sen. Nelson, has a long history as a legislator who has championed healthcare and physical fitness for Texas children. A former teacher, Nelson understands that healthy children succeed academically and was instrumental in founding PediPlace.

Dr. Dan Corbitt is the PediPlace “Medical Hero of the Year” recipient. For almost a decade, Dr. Corbitt and his staff have been providing expert orthopedic and sports injury medical care at no charge to PediPlace patients of uninsured families. 

The two award honorees were selected for their work in providing access to healthcare and the power of healing to thousands of uninsured children in need.

“Each of these remarkable individuals exemplifies the best of our community,” said Robins. “We are honored to recognize them as our HealthCare Heroes for 2010.”

In addition to serving the children of southern Denton County, PediPlace continues as one of a very few training facilities in North Texas for these essential medical professionals. In 2008, 10 nurse practitioner students and 20 Licensed Vocational Nurse students received required internship experiences at PediPlace.

The PediPlace HealthCare Heroes 2010 event features a five-star dinner prepared by Master Chef Morris Salerno of Highland Village’s The Grotto restaurant to be paired with wine and beer from Ben E. Keith.  A silent auction and wine pull will be held prior to dinner. Tickets are $75 for individuals, $125 per couple and $650 for a table of ten.

For more information or tickets, call 469-322-3660.

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