SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The 8th Annual Heroes of Hospice will honor local community heroes virtually this week.
Each year, Hospice of Santa Barbara recognizes organizations and individuals who play a key role in service to the Santa Barbara community and/or support the organization’s mission of providing care to anyone experiencing the impact of a serious illness or grieving the death of a loved one.
This year, awardees will be honored for their work related to COVID-19. The virtual event will also feature International Keynote Speaker, Pico Iyer.
This year’s Heroes of Hospice award recipients are:
Philanthropy Award - Steve Ortiz, President & CEO - United Way of Santa Barbara County
Under the leadership of Steve Ortiz, United Way of Santa Barbara County (UWSBC) has been at the forefront of COVID-19 community support. In partnership with other community organizations, including the Santa Barbara Foundation and Hutton Parker Foundation, UWSBC set up the COVID-19 Joint Response Effort to assist individuals and families, as well as other nonprofits, financially impacted by COVID-19. They also collaborated with many community partners on an Emergency Child Care Initiative to provide child care to children of frontline and essential workers, as well as a Public Health Critical Needs Initiative to support isolation, quarantining, and contact tracing.
Partnership Award - Liliana Encinas and Jose Fierros
Critical COVID-19 messages reach many in our Spanish-speaking community because of these two local heroes. Liliana and Jose share the most current information and resources regarding the pandemic—health, financial, food insecurity, and mental wellness—once or twice a day on their radio show. Their efforts have supported the safety, well-being, and health of many and have likely saved lives.
Volunteer Award – Daniel Goldberg Founder of Zoomers to Boomers
COVID-19 is much more dangerous to older people and those who have underlying health conditions, which forces many to remain isolated in their homes without access to groceries. In response, Zoomers to Boomers has assembled a team of young volunteers from Generation Z (born 1995-2015) to deliver groceries to their neighbors who are elderly or immunocompromised across Santa Barbara, the U.S. and even the world.
Medical Award - Dr. Lynn Fitzgibbons
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, infectious disease physician Dr. Fitzgibbons has played a critical role as a member of the COVID Incident Command Center, working with physicians and administrative leadership to ensure that systems are as good as they can be. She is involved in making sure that medical staff are protected while providing outstanding care to patients. She has also collaborated with research projects at UCSB, including a focus on forecasting COVID-19 models.
World-renowned novelist, travel writer, and four-time TED Talk speaker, Pico Iyer, will first give the live keynote address “The Open Door.” Iyer will talk about what opportunities might lie hidden within this season of sadness.
Drawing on 46 years of talks with the XIVth Dalai Lama, 32 years of living in Japan and more than half a century of visiting Santa Barbara, Iyer will try to offer concrete tips for refreshing our habits in the light of lockdown and advancing joyfully through a world of sorrows. He will also answer questions live during the program.
“We are proud to have such an acclaimed speaker while keeping our tradition of honoring local Heroes to express our gratitude, on behalf of our community, for what they have done for all of us—particularly during these difficult past months,” said David Selberg, CEO of Hospice of Santa Barbara. “Our Heroes and speaker deserve recognition for being a huge positive force in many people’s lives during this time.”
Hospice of Santa Barbara’s Heroes of Hospice will be held online on September 16 at 6 p.m. The event is free, but registration is required. For more information, click here.