Chamber gives out first-ever health care awards

DULUTH -- The Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce hosted its inaugural Healthcare Excellence Awards Wednesday night, recognizing winners from across the county in eight different categories.

Health care award winners:

• Health care Agency of the Year: View Point Health

• Health care Executive of the Year: Philip Wolfe, Gwinnett Medical Center

• Health care Professional of the Year: Katie Smith, Children’s Health Care of Atlanta

• Nurse Practitioner of the Year: Cindy Snyder, Gwinnett Medical Center

• Health care Philanthropists of the Year: Clyde and Sandra Strickland

• Physician of the Year: Dr. Hisa Yamaguchi, Eastside Medical Center

• Volunteer of the Year: Dr. William B. Williams, Suwanee Dental Care

• Advancements in Health Award: Gwinnett Medical Center and Gwinnett Technical College

Forty individuals and organizations were nominated for awards ranging from health care agency of the year to volunteer of the year. The program, Chamber president Jim Maran said, was conceived to raise awareness in the community and help enhance health care in Gwinnett.

"Health care is a vital component to our community's long-term sustainability and growth," Maran said. "Celebrating Gwinnett's solid reputation for quality health care enables the wellbeing of our citizens and provides further opportunity to attract new businesses, create jobs and ultimately afford a strong and well-rounded quality of life in Gwinnett."

The winners included View Point Health as agency of the year, Clyde and Sandra Strickland as philanthropists of the year and Dr. Hisa Yamaguchi from Eastside Medical Center as physician of the year. Dr. William B. Williams of Suwanee Dental Care was named volunteer of the year.

Gwinnett Medical Center and Gwinnett Technical College both received "advancement in health" awards for a percutaneous coronary intervention program and a new life sciences center, respectively.