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SBJ announces 10th class of Health Care Champions

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Springfield Business Journal continues its tradition of honoring two Springfield-area Top Doctors during November’s Health Care Champions event. And this year, the event was expanded to include two company awards.

An independent panel of judges selected the recipients for this top honor and chose additional health care professionals in four other fields: administrator, nurse, technician and therapist. The company awards are for Corporate Wellness Program of the Year and Provider of the Year.

This year’s Top Doctors honors go to Dr. Staci Niemoth, OB-GYN physician and medical director of women’s services at CoxHealth, and Dr. Ashley Popejoy, director of pediatric dentistry with Jordan Valley Community Health Center.

The Provider of the Year goes to CoxHealth, and the city of Springfield was selected for the Corporate Wellness Program of the Year.

The additional individual Health Care Champions, chosen by an independent panel of judges and in alphabetical order, are:

• Administrator: Donald Babb, executive director and CEO of Citizens Memorial Hospital; Clay Goddard, director of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department; and Brandi O’Reilly, executive director and physical therapist with Dynamic Strides Therapy Inc.

• Nurse: Elisa Coonrod, registered nurse and case manager at Mercy’s MSU Care; Teresa Grigg, lead nurse for Nixa Public Schools; and Lisa Potthoff, clinic nurse at CoxHealth’s Jared Neuroscience Center.

• Technician: Aerla McCoy, medical assistant/patient care assistant at Mercy Clinic Pediatrics-HealthTracks; Joanna Phemister, technician coordinator at Mattax-Neu-Prater Eye Center Inc.; and Belinda Presley, laboratory director at Citizens Memorial Hospital.

• Therapist: Kirsten Binder, neurological music therapist for Easter Seals Midwest; Kristy Bright, occupational therapist at CoxHealth; and Laura Ladd Curtis, therapist at Touchstone Counseling LLC; .

The Health Care Champions banquet starts at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 14, with networking followed by dinner at DoubleTree Hotel, 2431 N. Glenstone Ave.

More information can be found at

Originally started by the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce decades ago, this year marks the 10th annual SBJ event.


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