UofL Health Care team
UofL Health Care team

Several University of Louisville researchers, innovators and healers have been recognized by Louisville Business First as 2023 Health Care Heroes. 

The awards honor “those who have made an impact on health care in our community through their concern for patients, research, innovation, management skills and rising stars in the field,” according to the publication. 

The UofL honorees are:

  • Health Entrepreneur: Will Metcalf, associate vice president for research development and strategic partnerships in the Office of Research and Innovation. Metcalf leads UofL New Ventures, a team dedicated to furthering research-backed startups, including those in healthcare. He also leads UofL’s innovative collaborations with the Louisville Healthcare CEO Council, a group working to innovate and solve important problems in healthcare.
  • Health Equity Champion: Edward Miller with UofL Health and UofL Physicians – OB/GYN & Women’s Health. In addition to caring for high-risk mothers with complicate pregnancies, Miller has a passion to improve health care in underserved neighborhoods and inspire Black youth to pursue health care careers. His leadership helped develop the Pre-Medical Magnet Program and JCPS’ Central High School. The program brings medical professionals into their classroom and brings the high school students into UofL Hospital for a hands-on shadow experience. 
  • Health Innovator: Jessica Sharon, director of innovation programs in the Office of Research and Innovation. She leads UofL’s prestigious suite of programs that accelerate translation of research-born innovations to the marketplace, including the university’s new role as part of the NSF Innovation Corps MidSouth Hub. UofL is one of only a handful of universities in the country to host each of these innovation-associated programs — and it’s the only one to receive all of them. 
  • Health Manager: Melisa Adkins, CEO of UofL Health’s Mary & Elizabeth Hospital. Since joining UofL Health, two years ago, Adkins has combined her experience as a nurse and administrator to improve access to care in south Louisville. She led the efforts to open a 20-bed medical detox unit, women’s health center, and brought a Brown Cancer Center location to the Mary & Elizabeth hospital campus. She’s also recruited more medical specialists to the area and grew the family medicine practice to ensure residents from the UofL School of Medicine could better experience training in a community medicine environment. 
  • Emerging Star (joint award): Mandi Walker, system executive director for the UofL Health Office of Professional Practice, Nursing Research and Nursing Education; and Kelly Russell, the office’s director. Walker and Russell provided the oversight for UofL Hospital’s recent designation as a magnet hospital, the gold standard in recognizing professionalism and teamwork in nursing with superiority in patient care. It was a team recognition but could not have happened without these outstanding nursing leaders.

This year’s Health Care Heroes will be profiled in the Feb. 17 edition of Louisville Business First, and will be honored at an in-person event the day before at The Olmsted. You can find more details and register to attend here.