October 8, 2013

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Around Utah
Around Utah


Healthcare Heroes

Champions of Healing and Hope

By Utah Business Editors | Photography by Brandon Flint

October 8, 2013

Bonnie Jeanne Baty

Pediatrics Professor/Program Director of Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling University of Utah Health Sciences Center

Bonnie Baty has long been considered a pioneer in the field of genetic counseling. Thirty-four years ago, she became the first clinical genetic counselor in Utah when she began working in the pediatrics department at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center.

Baty’s work has impacted thousands of Utah families as she’s helped them make practical sense of the cutting-edge research being done with the human genome. In 2004, she started the U’s graduate program in genetic counseling and became its first director. “She almost single-handedly created the genetic counselor program that will forever affect the state of Utah,” says John Carey, vice chair of academic affairs for the department of pediatrics at the U.

Baty has been awarded the University Distinguished Teaching Award and the Natalie Weissberger Paul Award from the National Society of Genetic Counselors, which is a lifetime achievement award. She has authored more than 30 journal articles and edited two seminar editions of the American Journal of Medical Genetics.

Baty is also active in several organizations, like the Transnational Alliance for Genetic Counseling, American Society of Human Genetics, Mountain States Genetics Foundation and NSGC. She currently chairs a national NSGC committee on advanced training for certified genetic counselors.

Marilyn Mariani, RN, MM

Chief Nursing Officer

Lakeview Hospital

Hospitalized as a young child, Marilyn Mariani says the compassion and care she received during that time inspired her to devote her life to healthcare. She became a CNA as a teenager, caring for handicapped and elderly individuals. She later became a nurse and obtained a job with the Holy Cross System, working with HIV patients, pediatrics, infectious diseases and other areas.

With a healthcare career spanning more than 30 years and with an intricate knowledge of hospital operations, Mariani decided to go into administration and today serves as chief nursing officer. She enjoys this role as she is able to work with and help not only patients, but employees as well.

 “I want to communicate that anyone in healthcare impacts other individuals’ lives. Regardless of how small a healthcare professional may feel they were involved, their involvement makes a huge difference to patients,” she says.

From administration to on-the-floor medical staff, Mariani is a respected leader throughout the organization. “Marilyn is passionate about ensuring the highest level of quality patient care, is creative in problem-solving, demonstrates honest and open communication, and promotes a strong sense of teamwork,” says Linda Webster, director of behavioral health.

Healthcare Innovators

Dr. Bill Beninati

Medical Director, Intermountain Tele-Critical Care Medicine at LDS Hospital Intermountain Healthcare

The first half of Dr. Bill Beninati’s career was spent in the U.S. Air Force, where he completed medical school and was instrumental in streamlining critical care air transportation—resulting in a 14 percent reduction in mortality. He also developed a trauma-readiness skills program for medical personnel being deployed overseas.

After retiring from the Air Force, Beninati joined Intermountain Healthcare in 2009. He has brought his military experience, as well as a drive to improve processes, to LDS Hospital, where he is in charge of setting up the entire Intermountain system for ICU telemedicine.

“I spent five years as a commander and that taught me the power of trusting, supporting and developing junior team members. They often have the best ideas but lack the experience and influence to develop them,” says Beninati, adding that his style is to “provide some initial support then get out of their way.”

Beninati is also a driver behind many other projects at Intermountain, including improving rapid response teams’ effectiveness, improving code blue response on inpatient psychiatric units and developing procedures to improve hemorrhage control by the Life Flight air service.


Dr. Gilbert Schorlemmer

Dr. Shreekanth Karwande

Cardiovascular Surgeons

St. Mark’s Hospital

Dr. Shreekanth Karwande and Dr. Gilbert Schorlemmer are leading cardiovascular surgeons who have collaborated to bring a new, life-saving procedure to patients with aortic valve stenosis who are not candidates for traditional open heart surgery. The approach, known as a trans-catheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR, has been available in the United States for less than five years.

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