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Business Journal honors Health Care Heroes

Ashley Heffernan
  • Ashley Heffernan
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Seven years ago, at the age of 31, Keisha Hawes suffered a heart attack.

“I told my cardiologist, ‘I absolutely do not have time to have a heart attack,’ and it all made sense to him,” Hawes, the mother of two children at the time, said. “I received a stent, and with that procedure there’s a 1% chance that the stent can puncture your vessel and you can bleed internally. Well, if there was ever a time that I did not want to be in the 1%, it was then. But I was.”

After doctors repaired her vessel, Hawes woke up in the intensive care unit of Roper St. Francis. She recovered, went on to have another child just a few years later and has made it her mission to support other heart attack survivors. 

Hawes has served as the national spokeswoman for the American Heart Association and is the face of the Go Red for Women campaign in the Lowcountry. On Wednesday night, she was honored along with 25 other men, women, children and service/therapy animals during the Charleston Regional Business Journal’s Health Care Heroes event at the Francis Marion Hotel in downtown Charleston.

Each year, the awards honor those who have a passion for health care and compassion for patients. Honorees are nominated by their peers, and a panel of judges selects the winners. Below is a list of the honorees and heroes for 2016.

2016 honorees and heroes

Community outreach

  • Nancy Gilman, Roper St. Francis (Hero)
  • Dave Dixon, Roper St. Francis (Honoree)
  • Ilesa Heyward, Select Health of South Carolina (Honoree)

First responder

  • John Dorkewitz and Brent Matthews, Roper St. Francis (Heroes)
  • Tonya  Johnson, Roper St. Francis (Honoree)

Health care professional

  • Anna Dean, Roper St. Francis (Hero)
  • Eugene Samuel and Heather Horne, Roper St. Francis (Honorees)
  • Cynthia Smalls, Select Health of South Carolina (Honoree)

Health care researcher

  • Jackie Kraveka, MUSC Children’s Hospital (Hero)
  • Patrick Flume, Medical University of South Carolina (Honoree)
  • Deborah Krajick, Roper St. Francis (Honoree)


  • Erin Wilkinson, MUSC (Hero)
  • Katie Kohler, MUSC (Honoree)
  • Linda Schutte, Roper St. Francis (Honoree)


  • Marcelo Hochman, The Hemangioma Treatment Foundation (Hero)
  • Julie Kanter, MUSC Children’s Hospital (Honoree)
  • Scott Ross, Roper St. Francis (Honoree)

Service/therapy animal

  • Molly, Roper St. Francis (Hero)
  • Bristol, MUSC (Honoree)

Trident Construction Health Care Engineer

  • Kevin Hughes, Roper St. Francis (Hero)
  • Christopher Mackey, Roper St. Francis (Honoree)


  • Gabe Johnson, MUSC Children’s Hospital (Hero)
  • Bruce Bowers, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage (Honoree)
  • Keisha Hawes, ISHPI (Honoree)

Reach Ashley Heffernan at 843-849-3144.

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