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WCPO Local Leaders in Health

Few things are more important in our lives and In our communities than our health. In Greater Cincinnati, we have these rising stars to thank for the important work they do to keep us healthy and Thriving.

James Canfield,32, University of Cincinnati
  • James Canfield, Assistant Professor of Social Work, University of Cincinnati
  • Hometown: Jersey City, NJ
  • Current neighborhood: Crestview Hills, Kentucky

Why he's so amazing: A quick glance at Canfield's resumes proves he is a tireless advocate for children living in poverty and homelessness. Since joining the University of Cincinnati in 2014, he has spent countless hours putting big data to work for local agencies trying to tackle Greater Cincinnati's high childhood poverty rate.

Canfield has created a clearinghouse of local data on homelessness and poverty that's being used to inform and boost programs run by nonprofit agencies focused one homelessness and poverty including UpSpring, Cincinnati Union Bethel, Housing Authority of Covington, Newport High School, CRADLE Cincinnati, CHANGE Court Specialty Docket and the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation.

Aside from molding the next generation of socials workers, he's also published more than a dozen scholarly articles and a book on childhood poverty, School-based Practice with Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness.

Danielle Jones, 34, Angel Baby Network

Why she's so amazing: It's been nearly two years since Danielle Jones and her husband Chris held their infant son in their arms as he took his final breaths. Before their son, Chris Louis Jones, Jr., was born in July of 2015, the Fairfield couple learned he had multiple congenital abnormalities – likely due to a genetic defect. His chances of life after birth were near zero. In the days and weeks following their loss, the couple began crafting a plan to ensure their son’s legacy lived on. In December 2016, the couple launched the Angel Baby Network – a program that works with birthing hospitals across Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky to offer peer-to-peer connections for families enduring high-risk pregnancies and infant loss.

Under Danielle's guidance, the network of bereaved families meet every other month to support each other and hear from a host of experts including medical professionals, counselors and social workers. It's an incredible resources for families in a community where the infant mortality rate is well above the national average.

Dr. Sarah Pickle, 35, UC Health
  • Dr. Sarah Pickle, primary care physician, UC Health
  • Hometown: St. Louis, MO
  • Current neighborhood: Montgomery

Why she's so amazing: A primary care doctor at UC Health, Pickle is a relentless advocate for transgender patients in Greater Cincinnati and beyond.

In her role as an assistant professor of Family Medicine at UC's College of Medicine, Pickle helped create a curriculum for medical students on how to better care for transgender patients. The curriculum, published in a journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, is among the first of its kind in the U.S.

When she's not seeing patients at UC's student health center or her primary care office in Wilmington, she makes time to talk to students and professionals, sit on panels, and is currently working on a new multi-media project to address health disparities for transgender populations.

Angelica Hardee, 26, The Health Collaborative
  • Angelica Hardee, PhD and senior manager Gen-H at The Health Collaborative
  • Hometown: Cleveland, OH
  • Current neighborhood: Walnut Hills, OH

Why she's so great: When Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky hit the map as top healthy places to live, we'll all have Hardee to thank. She's leading The Health Collaborative's newly launched Gen-H initiative, which aims to make it easier to make healthy choices for residents across the region.

As part of her work, Hardee is helping dozens of health-focused agencies collaborate and use data to boost the health of folks living in targeted areas across our community.

As a PhD candidate at the UC’s health education and promotion doctoral program, Hardee founded and led the Let's Change Our City effort. In that role she created a guide of community health resources and launched an annual conference dedicated to examining the social determinants that contribute to the health of local residents. The guide has helped improved access to information about community resources, and the conference provided an opportunity for innovation and partnership among dozens of community agencies.

Dr. Brian Grawe, 35, University of Cincinnati
  • Dr. Brian Grawe, 35, orthopedic surgeon
  • Hometown: Cincinnati
  • Current neighborhood: Mount Lookout, OH

Why he's so amazing: When he's not in the operating room rebuilding a knee or shoulder, Grawe can be found - well - all over Cincinnati.

The Mount Lookout native and orthopedic surgeon also serves as medical director and team physician to numerous local professional, collegiate, and high school sports teams including FC Cincinnati, The Western Southern Open, and UC Bearcats.

As an assistant professor at the UC's College of Medicine, he also serves as the associate director of the orthopedic residency training program as well as director of medical student education in the department.

Off UC's campus, Grawe serves on several boards and committees at local high schools and in underserved communities by providing free annual physicals to students in Greater Cincinnati schools.

Jason Paquin, 38, Cardiologist, Mercy Health

Why he's so amazing: Dr. Paquin has quickly become a leader in cardiac care at Mercy Health, Ohio's largest health care system, since stepping on as a cardiologist four years ago.

He works with physician leaders across departments - emergency medicine, cardiac surgery and radiology, among others - to ensure patient care is seamless and that the processes in place save lives, patient time and money. He's has championed the use of a the HEART scoring system across Mercy Health. The patient analysis system uses health history, echocardiogram readings, age, risk factors and troponin levels (proteins found in heart muscle) to help determine if patients who arrive in the emergency department for chest pain should stay for continued care or can be safely discharged for follow-up.

He is a member of the medical staff of all five Greater Cincinnati Mercy Health hospitals, mainly practicing at Anderson and Clermont hospitals.

Kate Schroder, 40, Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc.

Why she's so amazing: From Cincinnati, Schroder leads efforts on public health interventions around the globe, working hard to reduce child deaths in Africa and India from pneumonia, diarrhea, and HIV/AIDS.

Every year more than 1.4 million children die from diarrhea and pneumonia. These deaths are completely preventable - but occur because of limited access to medicines and vaccines, gaps in information, and overburdened health systems.

Schroder's work and research has been published in prestigious medical journals including the Lancet. Locally, she serves on the Cincinnati Board of Health.

Brent Hartke, 38, Caracole
  • Brent Hartke, associate director, Caracole
  • Hometown: Celina, OH
  • Current neighborhood: Newport, KY

Why he's so amazing: Every day Hartke works to limit the impact HIV/AIDS has on local lives and the region.

Founded in 1987, Caracole House was the first licensed adult care facility in Ohio for people living with HIV/AIDS. Today, it serves more than 2,000 clients living in Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky.

Brent works tireless to ensure Caracole clients have the proper care, support and housing needed to live healthy lives.

Dr. Janice Jones, 35, Mercy Health
  • Dr. Janice Jone, medical director, Mercy Health
  • Hometown: Cincinnati
  • Current neighborhood: Hyde Park, OH

Why she's so amazing: Since joining the medical staff at Mercy Health's Anderson hospital in 2013, Dr. Jones has quickly become a star clinician.

She was tapped to become medical director for Mercy's Clermont Hospital emergency department in November 2015 and has transformed emergency medicine in Clermont County. Her leadership in the hospital combined with her community and EMS relationships have elevated the status of the hospital's emergency services. She has served as department chair for emergency medicine since she joined the Clermont Hospital medical staff.

In 2016, she added Mercy Health - Mt. Orab Medical Center directorship to her responsibilities.

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