By Steve Jagler Special to Published Nov 25, 2010 at 1:05 PM
Steve Jagler is executive editor of BizTimes.

At some point, we've all been touched by moments of kindness, compassion or enlightenment in health care. Maybe it was a nurse's aide who helped us out of a wheelchair. Or a physical therapist who helped us recover. Or a doctor who finally made the correct diagnosis after three others had failed.

The BizTimes Health Care Heroes Awards salute those on the front lines of health care who are performing everyday miracles for others. These people are heroes in every sense of the word. They are adding to the quality of life for others in southeastern Wisconsin.

BizTimes will honor the 2010 Health Care Heroes at a special breakfast on Thursday, Dec. 9, at Boerner Botanical Gardens. The program will be emceed by WISN-Channel 12 news anchor Patrick Paolantonio.

We invite the readers of to join us in saluting these fine folks. To register to attend the breakfast, visit

The winners of the 2010 Health Care Heroes Awards are:


  • Elizabeth Hill-Karbowski, R.N., certified nurse midwife, Wheaton Franciscan-St. Joseph, Milwaukee. She is making a difference in preventing infant mortality. Ellen Krueger, R.N., St. Ben's Clinic for the Homeless, Milwaukee. She provides care for the homeless.
  • Jim Peters, R.N. case manager, Horizon Home Care & Hospice Inc., Brown Deer. He is a patient advocate.


  • Dr. Michael McCrea, director of the ProHealth Care Neuroscience Center & Research Institute, Waukesha. He leads a team of international experts in the treatment of concussions.
  • Dr. Traci Purath, neurologist, Wheaton Franciscan Medical Group, Franklin. She treats patients suffering from chronic headaches.

Advancements in Health Care

  • Mark Rakowski, executive director, Children's Community Health Plan, Wauwatosa. He leads a team that is making advancements in preventing premature births.
  • Ilse Tikkanen, R.N., coordinator of the Bariatric Center of Excellence at Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare-Elmbrook Memorial. She has been an innovator in the treatment of people undergoing bariatric care.

Community Service

  • Tricia Burkett, coordinator of the Safe Place for Newborns Program, Wheaton Franciscan-St. Joseph, Milwaukee. She helps babies be adopted into loving homes.
  • John Cary, executive director, MACC Fund, Milwaukee. He has guided the growth of the MACC Fund for the past 28 years.

Corporate Achievement

  • Acres of Hope & Aspirations LLC, Muskego. The agency uses experiences in nature to help heal patients with significant brain injury.
  • Dr. Channing Tassone, orthopedic surgeon, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin Orthopedic Center, Wauwatosa. He has helped implement lean principles to reduce medical costs and patient waiting times.

Health Care Staff

  • Dan Baker, director of the Crisis Resource Center, Transitional Living Services Inc., an affiliate of the Milwaukee Center for Independence (MCFI). He is an advocate for patients with mental illness.
  • The Horizon Rehab Team of Lori Baeckman, Lisa Birth and Jan Mechanic, Horizon Home Care & Hospice Inc., Brown Deer. They provide care to patients in the comfort of their homes.


  • Dr. Basil Jackson, psychiatrist on staff at Community Memorial Hospital, Menomonee Falls. He was a volunteer for earthquake victims in Haiti.
  • Geny Kroll, 88-year-old volunteer at Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital, Milwaukee. She has been giving her time and talent for 18 years.


Grand Achievement Award

  • Columbia St. Mary's Hospital, Milwaukee The hospital, which was founded as Wisconsin's first private hospital in 1848, has a long tradition of community service and recently reopened with a new building along Milwaukee's lakefront.
Steve Jagler Special to

Steve Jagler is executive editor of BizTimes in Milwaukee and is past president of the Milwaukee Press Club. BizTimes provides news and operational insight for the owners and managers of privately held companies throughout southeastern Wisconsin.

Steve has won several journalism awards as a reporter, a columnist and an editor. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

When he is not pursuing the news, Steve enjoys spending time with his wife, Kristi, and their two sons, Justin and James. Steve can be reached at