You get to choose the 2012 Health Care Heroes 2012 Philanthropist of the Year by casting your vote online. Here are bios of the nominees:
From the beginning of her medical career more than 40 years ago, Dr. Zena Lansky has displayed all the attributes of a medical pioneer. During her 35-year plus affiliation with Morton Plant Hospital, Lansky established their nationally recognized patient nutrition program that is now used through out the BayCare Hospital System. While at MPH, she invented/refined 17 medica devices/procedures, including the "G" Tube that allows a pump to add liquid food directly into the stomach. This device alone is credited with keeping tens of thousands of nutritionally challenged people around the world (including her husband, Warren Rodgers), alive every day. Lansky says she is the only doctor in the entire BayCare System, either currently working or retired, to ever have a major medical building named after them (The Lansky Pavilion at the MPMH Bardmore Medical Complex). This was done in recognition of her $1.5 million dollar donation to MPMH Foundation. Lansky and her husband currently are involved with and support 23 Tampa Bay area not-for-profit organizations. Her most recent major gifts include $1 million dollars each to the SPCA, and Humane Society of Pinellas. Dr. Lansky was honored last year by the National Society of Arts & Letters for her “outstanding contribution to the arts,” and in November was named by the Association of Fundraising Professionals as its “Philanthropist of the Year.”
Wendi A. Herzman:
Born visually impaired at birth in Brooklyn, N.Y., Herzman has been married for 31 years with two children, three step children, 24 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren. She moved to Florida in 1984 and started working with the deaf community in 1986 and founded the Deaf Service Bureau in 1996. She earned a national certification as an interpreter in 2000. He has been and is now CEO for the Deaf Service Bureau. It started as a small office and is now the largest agency serving the deaf community in Florida. Named one of the Eckerd 100 ladies in 1998 for volunteerism and received one of the 10 Volunteer Florida Sunshine Awards. She was also named Sertoman of the Year in 1999-2000. She was appointed to the Florida Independent Living Council in 2000 and reappointed in 2003 by then Gov. Jeb Bush. She was recently appointed again to the council by then Gov. Crist. She has been on the board of directors for Self-Reliance Center for Independent Living, Sertoma Camp Endeavor, Caring & Sharing Center for Independent Living, Florida Supportive Housing Coalition and the Chairperson for the FACT Team in Pasco County. She was on the President’s task force for disabilities and employment, disabilities and housing and disabilities and domestic violence. She has testified before the State Senate and House of Representatives to insure equal access to all individuals with a disability both in Florida and nationally.
Dick Vitale, college basketball’s top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season – just after the network’s September 1979 launch – following a successful college and pro coaching career. In 2008, Vitale received the sport’s ultimate honor when he was selected as an inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Vitale is on the board of directors of The V Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for cancer. He has an annual Dick Vitale Gala, which has raised more than $1 million dollars every year for the past seven years. For many years he’s awarded five scholarships annually to the Boys & Girls Club of Sarasota. His involvement with the organization was highlighted in April 1999 with the “Dick Vitale Sports Night,” an annual banquet that has raised more than $1 million. In April 2000, in recognition of Vitale’s support for the Boys and Girls Club, it was announc