GREENFIELD — The Hancock Regional Hospital Foundation recently awarded three community leaders during its annual Healthy Community Awards ceremony.
Dr. Thomas O’Connor and Jack Goff are co-recipients of the 2016 Bert Curry Healthy Community Award. Named in honor of the foundation’s first executive director, this award is given each year to an individual for exemplary and innovative efforts to create positive change in the health of our community.
Dr. O’Connor is a family practice physician with American Health Network in Greenfield, where he has been practicing for more than 30 years. Among many accomplishments during this time, Dr. O’Connor brought the national “Walk with a Doc” program to this community in 2001, which offers patients the opportunity to talk with a doctor while getting some exercise. The program is offered twice per month, both in Greenfield and McCordsville, and has involved up to 117 walkers in one day.
Dan and Janet Stultz, who nominated Dr. O’Connor for this award, said, “Dr. O’Connor has given his entire career to improving the health and wellness of those in Greenfield and Hancock County.”
Story continues below gallery
Jack Goff was nominated for this award for his 24 years of service to the Hancock County Food Pantry. Jack and his wife, Sue, started the food pantry in 1992 at Shiloh Christian Church.
Goff has served in many capacities over the years, and is currently the operations director, which involves directing and overseeing daily volunteer activities, receiving and distributing food, and maintaining the facilities. Jack also serves on the board of directors of what is now the largest food pantry in Hancock County.
“The mission to assist those with food insecurity is still as relevant today as it was in 1992, and Jack has been instrumental in carrying out that mission since inception of the Hancock County Food Pantry,” said Tom Ferguson, who nominated Goff.
In 2014, the foundation established the Bobby Keen Healthy Community Award, named in honor of the former President and CEO of Hancock Regional Hospital. Through this award, the foundation recognizes a hospital program or local organization whose efforts are creating positive change in the health of our local communities. The recipient of the 2016 Bobby Keen Healthy Community Award is the Greenfield Parks and Recreation Department.
The department was nominated for this award by Shelley Swift, the executive director of Greenfield Main Street.
“Main Street partners with the Parks Department on a number of events and activities throughout the year, and fitness is always a primary focus,” Swift said.
Some of their efforts to promote healthy living in the community include: the North Street Fitness Festival, an initiative to place new workout equipment on the Pennsy Trail, and promoting city parks as a place to get active with tennis and basketball courts, playgrounds, hiking/biking/running trails, and much more.
Parks superintendent Ellen Kuker is spearheading an effort to bring a new splash pad to Greenfield, and serves on a number of committees focused on fitness opportunities like the Play Everywhere Grant, Hancock Flat 50, Healthy 365 and the Turkey Day 5K.
The Parks Department will receive $1,000 with its award. Jack Goff has designated $1,000 to the Hancock County Food Pantry, and Dr. O’Connor has designated his award funds to go to the Talitha Koum Women’s Recovery Home, a halfway house for women working to return to a drug-free life.