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Utah Business Honors 2017 Healthcare Heroes

Salt Lake City—Some heroes wear capes. Others wear stethoscopes.

On Tuesday, Utah Business magazine honored 23 individuals and groups who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to make Utah’s healthcare second to none.

“Heroes work every day in healthcare, and they’re usually not caught on camera. That’s why we’re here today—to shine a spotlight on healthcare heroes who work long hours in tough conditions, often with little recognition of their efforts,” said Donnie Welch, publisher of Utah Business magazine. “Some of the heroes we’re honoring today travel to far-flung locations to provide care to the poorest of the poor. Others strive to innovate and transform healthcare systems and standards of care. We’re celebrating volunteers, front-line healthcare providers, hard-working physicians, administrators and others who have dedicated their lives to the healthcare professions.”

This year’s honorees were recognized for excellence in practice, community outreach, administration, volunteer work, education, innovation and humanitarian care. Two people who have dedicated their lives to building Utah’s healthcare legacy.

Kent Jones, MD, almost became a dentist before realizing cardiovascular medicine was his calling. Forty years later, the cardiovascular surgeon at Intermountain Medical Center has placed more than 1,700 mechanical heart valves and over 1,000 bio-prosthetic valves, in addition to helping further medicine through research studies.

“Like business, medicine, especially cardiovascular surgery, requires a team effort, and I’m so blessed to have had such a great team to work with over the last 40 years. … With that team effort, I’m so appreciative of the career I’ve been able to have,” he said. “I think Intermountain [Healthcare] has been a tremendous supporter of our group and in turn I think we’ve made them proud of what we’ve done.”

Mary Talboys was the administrator of the University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute, and for 30 years was a champion of mental health for the unit. Talboys passed away January 30, and was honored posthumously. Her daughters, Carolyn Klassen, Katie Murphy and Wendy Hopkins, accepted the award in her behalf.

“Of course, we wish the circumstances were different and that she were here to accept this award herself. We are fairly certain our mother would be shy about the word ‘hero.’ She would prefer ‘helper’ or ‘advocate,'” said Klassen. “We are so proud of our mom and grateful for the legacy she has left behind.”

You can find out more about all of this year’s honorees here or in our September 2017 issue.