Fire Starter Publishing Wants to Honor Your Hero in a White Coat!

Doctors don’t have to wear capes to be considered super or someone’s hero. National Doctor’s Day is held every year on March 30th in the U.S. and is a day to celebrate the commitment and impact of physicians on healthcare. It is a time to show appreciation to physicians who play a vital role in the diagnosis, treatment, and care of us as their patients and our families.

Thank you to all those who submitted stories about their heroes. The winners are:


Dr. Eric Mendeloff
Medical City Children's Hospital – Dallas, TX

Dr. Eric Mendeloff received multiple nominations from different people. All of the comments and nominations for Dr. Mendeloff had a common theme – his actions inside and outside the hospital show how deeply he cares about the lives of his patients, their families and how committed he is to improving patient care. One nomination explained how Dr. Mendeloff is known for attending funerals and graduation ceremonies of former patients. Another person informed us that Dr. Mendeloff returned early from his own family vacation for an emergency patient surgery. Yet another noted Dr. Mendeloff’s fundraising support of pediatric heart research.

While we wish we could share every word submitted about Dr. Mendeloff, the comments below represent a portion of the amazing stories told about our hero in a white coat.

“Since 2005 he has championed family presence during rounds and procedures, including emergency cardiac arrest and chest re-opening procedures. He has even called for families to come to the operating room prior to cessation of life support so that they may be with their child at the end of life, as they were at the beginning.

[Dr. Mendeloff] is an active participant in all hospital initiatives to improve patient care... He embraces excellence always in every aspect of his care delivery... He is sought out to support initiatives that have nothing to do with his scope of practice due to his reputation as being a hard worker and ability to get the job done.

This nominee is the nucleus and innovator which has yielded outcomes exceeding national benchmarks for the program and the organization. Every team, program, department, and patient/family dyad needs a hero in a white coat like this nominee. Ahead of his time...perhaps! A role model for how to deliver patient-centric care in a manner that demonstrates excellence always...most definitely! I am proud to nominate this individual for hero in white coat recognition.”

– Kathy Drescher, NP/Manager

“I have witnessed him and the nurses stand together and offer support to the families that have lost a child. I have stood in the corner in the nurse's supply closet with my own tears streaming as I can see him standing at the end of the long hallway, his back to me, and I can see the sadness weighing on his shoulders and his arm moving as he's wiping away his tears. Those same hands that have saved thousands of children (including my own son) are used to comfort families, staff and himself when dealing with the loss of a patient. Dr. Mendeloff will never accept the title of hero, but to us, he is a superhero. No regular human being can be that selfless, caring and with an amazing skill set that saves multiple lives every day. He walks on a cloud of humble and leaves a trail of kindness everywhere he goes.”

– Loan McDuffie

Honorable Mention

Dr. Sirisha Sesham
Appoge Medical Group – Spokane Valley, WA

“The ICU nurses at Valley Medical Center have known of the exquisite care and compassionate demeanor of Dr. Sesham for over 7 years. When the other hospitalists have been long gone, sometimes 2-3 hours later, we can hear Dr. Sesham on the phone to a family member or the patient talking, laughing and sometimes crying. We all stand in awe of her tenacity and persistent care. Along with being the phenomenal doctor that she is, she is also a wife and a mother in all of her roles she emulates the dedication, precision, professional attributes that encourage all of us to "step up our game" and go beyond the pay and the the loving touch.”

– Patrick Tomulty, Intensive Care Nurse, Valley Medical Center and Rockwood Healthcare

Honorable Mention

Dr. Julie Broussard
Lafayette General Medical Center – Lafayette, LA

Dr. Broussard is the Medical Director of Anesthesiology at Lafayette General Medical Center. She is known for the spirited and creative ways she motivates and rewards her teams. “She starred in a motivational video for the team she was on to the tune of "Eye of the Tiger"... Fast forward to only one year later, a result in efficiencies has improved on time starts from 38% to a hardwired 85%. This year in an effort to increase surgeon attendance at our surgery dept. meetings, she helped direct and again starred in another video, we titled "Thriller" ...[which] increased surgeon attendance from 5 to 30, standing room only at our last meeting. The video was fun, but had a purpose, which was to show the surgeons the level of commitment & engagement there was between nursing & anesthesia.

She stands bravely, all 5'2, 110lbs of her in a room of robust surgeon personalities & speaks with such grace, style, charisma that she has the attention and respect of every one in the room.”

- Faith LeBrun, RN-Asst. Director of Perioperative Services, Lafayette General Medical Center

Honorable Mention

Dr. Kevin Tate
Choptank Community Health System – Denton, MD

“Dr. Tate MD is a family physician in our Denton Primary Care Office. He is a single parent raising a beautiful daughter here on the Eastern Shore. He is always smiling and cheerful. He is always ready to help both his patients and our staff and consistently gets the highest scores for patient satisfaction and staff citizenship. He is admired and loved by his patients, fellow providers and our staff. In addition to his service to our community, patients and staff, once a year he goes on a medical mission.”

– Jonathan Moss, CMO, Choptank Community Health System

Last year he went to Rawanda. In his own words provided by the nominator, Dr. Tate described his experience with Global Medical Outreach.

“We were based in Kigali, the capital, and drove by bus to several remote sites throughout the country. Our first clinic was in Bihargo, a rural village an hour and a half outside Kigali. We had the capacity and time to see around 150 patients, however over 600 showed up once the word got out, and many had walked for several days from miles away to get there. There were many cases of advanced malaria, parasitic disease, congenital blindness, and two pediatric patients who will not likely survive the year without heart surgery unavailable in Rwanda. We saw patients for 12 hours that day but were still forced to turn away over 400...

The following day we drove two hours east to Kibungu Provence on the border with Tanzania. According to a local physician, Kibungu has an HIV infection rate of 30-40% and is endemic with malaria. When we arrived, over 1000 people were waiting, yet we only had time to see around 200. There were, again, many cases of malaria, parasitosis, failure to thrive and many patients in their late teens or twenties who had the appearance of a ten year old due to malnutrition.

Having had the opportunity in the past to do similar mission work in Thailand, El Salvador and the Dominican Rebublic, Rwanda was and eye-opening experience and reinforced how blessed even the least fortunate in this country are compared with many parts of the world.”

Honorable Mention

Dr. Creighton Likes
Greenville Health System - University Medical Group – Greenville, SC

I was referred to Dr Creighton Likes by another hero of mine (Dr Mark Moore, who has been my OB/GYN doctor over 25 years and delivered both of my children, the greatest joys of my life). I was referred due to some abnormal lab results. But my story is not about me and the medical problem. This story is about the amazing, compassionate, professional provider of holistic care that took such good care of me...

My journey started when this male with a white coat opened the waiting room door and called my name. When I was close enough to see the nametag, I noticed this Dr came to call his own patient to the examining room. Who does that? my hero...

When I returned for my last follow up visit, I shared my appreciation for him and his staff. He was so humble, it was almost unbelievable...My experience with Dr Likes was one of the most powerful healing experiences I have ever had. He inspired me to live out the compassion standards that should be representative of all medical professionals. What an incredible example and role model for others. I know a lot of really great physicians as I have worked with them for the past 30 years. Many of them are heroes to many people, but this one crossed my path from a personal experience perspective. I will never forget the impact he made on me as a medical professional AND as a patient.”

– Angela Mathews, Nurse