LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Salvatore J. Bertolone, Jr., M.D., professor and previous chief of pediatric oncology and hematology at the University of Louisville, has received the third annual Marc A. Lehmann Spirit of Service Award for physicians. The award recognizes Louisville-area physicians in hematology & oncology and is presented in memory of Marc A. Lehmann, a Louisville native and UofL student who succumbed to acute myeloid leukemia in 2012.
The Marc A. Lehmann Spirit of Service Award Foundation endeavors to seek out and identify physicians and support staff in the field of blood cancers and hematology to honor long-standing service to patients and their families that encompasses exceptional proficiency, empathy and understanding. Each year the foundation presents an award to one physician and to three support staff members from the Greater Louisville area.
“I am humbled by this award – humbled because all I have tried to do is simply what every physician has pledged to do in the Hippocratic Oath: Remember that there is art to medicine as well as science and that warmth, sympathy and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drugs,” Bertolone said.
Marc Lehmann was stricken with acute myeloid leukemia at age 18, while a student at UofL’s J.B. Speed School of Engineering. Marc endured an eight-year battle with AML, graft vs. host disease and numerous immunosuppressed blood‐borne infections. Following his death in 2012, his family and friends created the Marc A. Lehmann Spirit of Service Award Foundation to honor his memory and the many compassionate health-care workers Marc encountered during his journey.
George J. Lehmann, III, Marc’s father and president and director of the foundation, said previous award recipients nominated Bertolone for the 2015 award. Committee members and directors then conferred with associates, fellow physicians and affected patients concerning Bertolone’s history of patient care.
“Dr. Bertolone was found, by both the nominating committee and by the Foundation directors, to be a more than suitable nominee,” Lehmann said. “The more telling quality that this process reveals lies in the nearly countless stories and accolades provided by affected members of our community, both lay and physician, who enthusiastically endorse Dr. Bertolone’s qualifications.”
Along with one physician, awards are presented each year to one support staff member from each Baptist Health System, KentuckyOne Health and Norton Healthcare. The 2015 support staff recipients are Katherine Mitchell, A.P.R.N., A.O.C.N.P. (Baptist), Melissa Pritchett, B.S.N./O.C.N. (KentuckyOne) and Rebecca Champion, Pharm.D., B.C.O.P. (Norton). The 2015 awards were presented at a dinner on Friday, Oct. 30 at Vincenzo’s Italian Restaurant.