Research Medical Center
November 01, 2011

2011 Community Leader DinnerResearch Medical Center held its fourth annual Community Leader Dinner on Thursday, October 20th, again fulfilling a spiritual and communal relationship between the hospital and our faith based leaders throughout the community.

Hosted by the Pastoral Care department at Research Medical Center, the program, dinner and entertainment were enjoyed by all.

“Our project team has evolved for this annual event from a dream into a collaborative, diverse community-based reality,” explains Rev Dr. Jim Harper, director of pastoral care. “A special thanks goes to Chaplain Taalib-ud-Din al-Ansare, lead coordinator for infrastructure and communication, Mary Moss for her integral support, and each faculty member who by achieving a vital aspect came together to make this a success including Soomee Kim, Chuck Robertson and Victor Wilson.“ Rev Harper continues with, “thanks to administrative assistants Ruth LeBaron, Dian Foster and Belinda Jamison; the marketing and public relations department, Denise Charpentier and Mike Ralston; photographer Phil Licata; as well as chaplain residents and interns, a cadre of volunteers, our core leaders and guests, who all made this meaningful.”

2011 Community Leader DinnerDistinguished Service Awards were presented by Kevin J. Hicks, chief executive officer, Cyndi Johnson, chief nursing officer, and Will McCarther, vice president community relations for Research Medical Center. The awards honored three categories – Nursing, Medicine and Community.

Gina Taylor, RN, BSN, received the nursing award for her dedication to succeed in nursing. Beginning at Research Medical Center as a Certified Nursing Assistant over 20 years ago, Gina obtained her master’s degree in nursing education in 2010. Gina also provides extensive involvement in hospital committees, professional associations, community activities, health screenings and her church. Accepting the award for Gina were her father and daughter.

Edward (Ted) Higgins, MD, a vascular surgeon at Research Medical Center was honored with the award for medicine. Dr. Higgins has received many physician distinctions throughout the years including Super Doctor honoree, Doctor of the Year, Doctor of Distinction by the Greater KC Metropolitan Medical Society and Distinguished Alumnus for St. Lawrence University. His dedication to Research Medical Center is unyielding. He exerts his support of his staff, colleagues, the services and health initiatives at Research Medical Center. In addition, he is an advocate for multiple sclerosis and rides each year as part of the Research Rough Riders at the Bike MS event in honor of former colleague Dr. Dave Tomlinson. Attending the dinner with Dr. Higgins were his wife Kim and daughter Becca.

Dean Audrey F. Bullard, dean of education for the Afrikan Centered Collegium Academy (ACECC) received the community award for the difference she has made in the lives of numerous children through education. ACECC is a pre-kindergarten through 12th grade early college high school signature program. ACECC creates a unique educational environment using culturally relevant teaching and learning with high academic standards, rigor in the classroom, dual high school and college credit courses, leadership and character development. Dean Bullard is nationally recognized for her expertise in African-centered leadership and holds numerous awards and distinctions.

Entertainment for the evening was presented by Reggie Watkins on piano as well as a dance troupe, Praise Propulsion of St. James United Methodist Church.