Springfield, MO

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Opinion: Health care honorees drive innovation

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This year marks the 10th class of Springfield Business Journal’s Health Care Champions. The class includes leaders and organizations from many different areas of health care in southwest Missouri. These names and the teams they represent are making a difference in the lives of our community members. This difference is seen in individual patients who are living longer, healthier lives. It also is evident in the strides our communities are making to be healthier.

Over the past year, I have been given the privilege to work with amazing teams from across southwest Missouri to improve the health of our communities. As part of that, I have spent a lot of time thinking about what it is that makes us healthier. Facilities and equipment do help to improve outcomes. However, these alone are not enough.

We need leaders like the ones honored here to drive change at the community level. This includes initiatives such as Tobacco 21, which raised the legal age to buy tobacco in Springfield. These changes also necessitate advocating for other initiatives, such as creating green spaces in our communities and working to end food insecurity for our friends and neighbors.

Having organizations, administrators, providers, therapist and technicians, such as the ones honored this year, gives me great hope for the future of our communities.

Thank you to Springfield Business Journal for honoring these leaders who have accomplished so much for those we serve.

Dr. Shawn Usery is chief medical officer for CoxHealth’s Community Hospital Group and was a Top Doctor honoree in the 2018 Health Care Champions awards. He can be reached at


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