UofL researchers and doctors recognized as Health Care Heroes

    Walter Sobczyk, M.D., Susan Harkema, Ph.D., Erle Austin III, M.D., Christian Davis Furman, M.D.
    Walter Sobczyk, M.D., Susan Harkema, Ph.D., Erle Austin III, M.D., and Christian Davis Furman, M.D. accept their Healthcare Hero awards.

    Four UofL faculty were honored as Health Care Heroes this week during an awards presentation by Louisville Business First.

    They are:

    • Innovator Winner – Susan Harkema, Ph.D., professor, Department of Neurological Surgery, UofL School of Medicine; associate scientific director, Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center; director of research, Frazier Rehab Institute 

    Harkema was honored for her research and ongoing commitment to the study of human locomotion. She has dedicated her career to the exploration of technology and development of therapies that will allow individuals with spinal cord injury to recover.

    • Innovator Finalist – Walter Sobczyk, M.D., pediatric cardiologist, University of Louisville, UofL Physicians – Pediatric Cardiology, Norton Children’s Hospital; associate professor, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Cardiology, UofL School of Medicine

    A finalist in the innovator category, one of Sobczyk’s career highlights was the pioneering work of his pediatric cardiology group to use computer technology to transmit cardiac ultrasounds remotely from small community hospitals throughout the state of Kentucky. This important advancement helped provide high-level care to underserved areas of the state.

    As winner of the provider category, Austin has spent his career as a physician-educator and surgeon treating adults and children in need of congenital heart repairs. The ability to positively impact a person’s health quickly, along with the challenge of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery made the specialty particularly appealing to him.

    • Provider Finalist – Christian Davis Furman, M.D., geriatrician, UofL Physicians – Geriatrics; professor of geriatric & palliative medicine; interim chief, Division of General Internal Medicine, Palliative Medicine and Medical Education, UofL School of Medicine; Margaret Dorward Smock Endowed Chair in Geriatric Medicine; medical director, UofL Trager Institute

    Furman was recognized as a finalist in the provider category for her work in the field of geriatrics. She still makes home visits and in her Q&A with Business First says the most rewarding part of her job is bringing together patients and families to discuss goals of care and advance care planning.

    Read more about the Healthcare Hero finalists and winners on the Business First website.

    Julie Heflin
    Julie oversees digital content for the Office of Communications and Marketing. She began her UofL career on the Health Sciences Center campus in 2007. Prior to this, Julie was a journalist with WFPL (Louisville Public Media), and occasionally filed reports for National Public Radio.