Left-right: Crain's Publisher and Executive Editor Frederick P. Gabriel Jr., Empire BlueCross BlueShield Director of Small Group and PEO Christopher Miceli, honoree Nick Katsoris, keynote speaker and Behavioral Health Medical Director for New York State at Elevance Health Dr. Kristin Gill, and Empire BlueCross BlueShield President Victor DeStefano. (Photo: Courtesy of Nick Katsoris)
NEW YORK – Empire BlueCross BlueShield and Crain’s New York Business presented Loukoumi Foundation Founder and President Nick Katsoris with the Whole Health Heroes Award on November 28.
“This award is especially meaningful because it recognizes that the work we do with the Loukoumi Make A Difference Foundation truly aids in the ‘whole health’ of children,” Katsoris said in a statement via email. “Teaching children to make a difference in the world for projects that they are passionate about indeed helps the receivers of the good deeds, but it also helps the children, as doers of the good deeds, with increased self-esteem, improved mental health, and provides them with purpose and overall happiness. We thank Empire Blue/Cross Blue Shield and Crain’s for this honor and congratulate all the recipients.”
Since 2020, Empire BlueCross BlueShield has been honoring leaders in New York and the metropolitan region who exemplify public service and professional devotion as they work to improve the financial, physical and mental health of their communities and workplaces, as noted in a news release about this year’s Whole Health Hero Awards.
This year’s 25 honorees come from varied backgrounds in both the public and private sectors, reflecting prodigious professional accomplishments and a dedication to making a real difference in people’s wellbeing. They are being honored for their work in four categories: innovating a drug, medical treatment or new procedure relating to asthma, cancer, diabetes or heart health and making a difference in the screening, prevention and/or management of these diseases; establishing or implementing employee wellness strategies within their workplace to promote mental and overall health; advancing financial health within their community, or for the benefit of New York’s underserved communities; and improving social health, by using their influence in their own organization and the broader community.
A luncheon to celebrate this year’s Whole Health Heroes honorees was held on November 28 at Manhattan Penthouse. Frederick P. Gabriel, Publisher and Executive Editor of Crain’s New York Business and Victor DeStefano, President of Empire BlueCross BlueShield and Empire BlueCross, participated in the event.
The awards, now in their fourth year, were first established during the COVID-19 pandemic to honor leaders in the community who responded to the health crisis with courage and resourcefulness, and to emphasize Empire’s commitment to improving the whole health of its members and the community at large. The event has evolved over the past four years into an annual ceremony that highlights the remarkable accomplishments of business, nonprofit and medical professionals in advancing the health of their communities.
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