Last Thursday, Sept. 15, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Wichita, Kan., an event was held by the Wichita Business Journal honoring “Health Care Heroes” in the Wichita community. This event honored individuals who have made an impact in the health care arena. Two of those honored that night—Brad Dart, Ph.D. and Alice Wiggins—are Newman alumni and one other is Newman Associate Dean of Nursing and Allied Health, Jane Weilert, Ph.D.
Brad Dart, Ph.D., recipient of the 2016 Health Care Hero Physicians Award is an orthopedic surgeon with Advanced Orthopaedic Associates and a medical director of orthopedic trauma at Via Christi Health. Dart is most notably known for his innovative approach to the medical field that has exceeded what was believed could be done. For instance, according to the Wichita Business Journal, “Dart was the first physician in Kansas to perform an anterior hip replacement allowing him to replace the joint without cutting or detaching muscles from the femur or pelvis.” Many of his colleagues speak of his collaborative attitude and drive to find new ways to improve medical practices and increase patient wellness. Dart also gives back to the community, is a mentor, the head of many boards and the father of three children.
Alice Wiggins, honorary Newman alumni, Newman Board of Trustee member and recipient of the 2016 Health Care Hero Volunteer Award, is an integral part of the Guadalupe Clinic where she has volunteered and made an enormous impact for the past 31 years. Originally, Wiggins was a school nurse who signed on to work at Guadalupe to put in 20 hours of her time to providing health screenings to those in need. The staff of Guadalupe has the highest praise and admiration for Wiggins. She has also contributed to the clinic by serving the boards associated with the clinic, and contributing financially towards the upkeep of the clinic. For many, Guadalupe has become a staple of the community, and Wiggins a friendly and familiar face all thanks to her important contribution. Jodi Gullermette, director of the clinic, estimates Wiggins has helped over 19,000 people.
Jane Weilert, Ph.D., associate dean of nursing and allied health, is the recipient of the 2016 Health Care Hero Educator Award. Weilert has been educating students for decades and every year her love for educating nursing students only increases. President of Newman University, Noreen Carrocci, said of Weilert, “Her keen awareness of the ever-changing demands nurses encounter in hospitals and other clinical settings is reflected in her commitment to excellence in clinical practice.” Weilert came to nursing education when she began volunteering at a free health clinic. From there she fell in love with teaching future health professionals and has been an integral part of Newman University. “When a student finally understands a difficult concept or successfully works with a complex client situation, and how they sound when they tell you of their accomplishments, their pride and enthusiasm are contagious,” said Weilert.
Newman is proud to have three of its own honored as Health Care Heroes who continually work to advance the medical field and instill an ever-learning, always teaching spirit into quite possibly the next generation of Health Care Heroes.