Dedicated to Helping the Uninsured
Jesse Kontra’s life is dedicated to providing compassionate care to others. His compassion extends to helping the less fortunate by volunteering several days a week at The Clinic, a nonprofit serving the uninsured. For his selfless service to his community, Kontra is one of just four recipients nationwide being honored with the Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award.
Kontra was nominated by Debbie Shupp, director of development at The Clinic. She explains, “Jesse has an extremely demanding full-time job, yet finds the time to volunteer with us. In 2009 alone, Jesse volunteered more than 400 hours, and with his help our physicians were able to treat and impact the lives of many of our vulnerable patients.”
“It is my belief that everyone who decides to go into healthcare does so because they care for others. This is no different for me. If there was one contribution that I hold to be most important, it is that we should make a difference. A difference to one patient, one family, one community or one county. The decision to make a difference is just as powerful regardless of if it changes one life or ten.”
In fact, with Kontra’s help, The Clinic provided medical services to more than 11,000 patients last year. Many of these patients are extremely ill, often with chronic conditions, yet they have not been to a doctor in some time due to financial reasons.
“Jesse Kontra’s dedication to providing care to those who need healthcare, but have issues accessing it, demonstrates a tremendous personal commitment to making life better for his fellow man, ” says Wendell Mobley, who directs Cherokee Uniforms’ charitable and scholarship programs. “He is living proof of the life-changing difference that one compassionate and willing healthcare practitioner can make.”
The Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award is granted by Cherokee Uniforms as a way of recognizing the caring work of nurses and other non-physician healthcare professionals, who provide exceptional service, sacrifice and innovation, while positively impacting others’ lives. This is the eighth year the leading designer and manufacturer of healthcare apparel has honored inspirational caregivers.
As the Grand Prize Winner, Kontra receives an all-expense-paid Caribbean cruise for two; a wardrobe featuring the best of Cherokee Uniforms and Cherokee Footwear worth more than $1,000; a $500 donation in his name to the DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune System) Foundation; a Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award trophy; a 14K gold-plated commemorative pin; and a year’s subscription to Scrubs, the nation’s first lifestyle magazine for nurses.
Kontra is driven by the sense that he is making a difference in patients’ lives. “Every day people come into our clinic, we patch them up and send them on their way,” he says. “These days can be exhausting, but that exhaustion is always overridden by the sense that we are making a difference in the lives of people who need our help the most.”
Since the Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award was established in 2003, more than 9,000 healthcare professionals have been nominated across the various nursing and non-physician disciplines. A panel of Cherokee representatives and past Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award recipients evaluates nominations and grants the awards.
For every nomination, Cherokee Uniforms donated $1.00 to Nurse’s House, a national fund that provides short-term financial assistance to registered nurses facing serious hardship. Cherokee Uniforms will be accepting nominations for the 2011 Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award beginning March 1 through May 31, 2011. For further information on the award, please visit http://inspiredcomfort.com or receive updates on Twitter- @InspiredComfort.