SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - More than 300 people gathered in the outdoor Rotunda at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort to honor a trio of local leaders who embody Hospice of Santa Barbara's (HSB) 2022 theme, 'What Matters Most.'
"It feels so good for Hospice of Santa Barbara to return to an in-person gathering with our supporters, our donors," said David Selberg, HSB's CEO. "How we stay alive and exist as an organization with the support of our community, this was so heartfelt today."
The 2022 honorees were: Dr. Charles Fenzi with Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics (SBNC); Dr. Elise Simmons with Santa Barbara High School; and, Michael Cruse with Hospice of Santa Barbara Bereavement Staff.
Fenzi, SBNC's former CEO, accepted the Medical Hero Award for the work he and his team have done since SBNC was formed in 1998 and their ongoing commitment to the community, which started during the 1970's. His colleague, Yessenia Marroquin, Director of Clinic Operations, was also acknowledged.
HSB shared that SBNC is a "critical health safety net for Santa Barbara County and provides care to over 22,000 unduplicated patients a year." And, that the two nonprofits have a "strong reciprocal partnership, particularly among lower income families and individuals."
Simmons, Principal of Santa Barbara High School, was honored with the Partnership Award. The high school's counseling team was praised for "providing professional counseling for students. These are some of the most traumatic and complex situations in which HSB is involved."
Cruse, Bereavement Services Manager for HSB, accepted the Staff Hero Award on behalf of the organization's counselors. The group was commended for skills "addressing the distinct and different ways that young children, teens, and adults grieve and offer compassionate support to people struggling in the darkness of grief."
Click here to make a donation or to learn more about Hospice of Santa Barbara.