2017 Sepsis Heroes and Erin Kay Flatley Spirit Awards to Honor Sepsis Survivors, Advocates, and Champions of Awareness


May 15th, 2017

Sepsis Alliance, the nation’s leading patient advocacy group, has announced the honorees for the sixth annual Sepsis Heroes gala. The 2017 class of Sepsis Heroes includes a healthcare system, medical experts, a sepsis survivor, and individuals making a difference in raising awareness of sepsis.

New York, NY – Sepsis Alliance, the nation’s leading patient advocacy group dedicated to raising sepsis awareness, is pleased to celebrate and honor the 2017 Sepsis Heroes. From the country’s top children’s hospital organization to two nurses with over 70 combined years of experience and a sepsis survivor who shares her story despite daily challenges, each honoree does exemplary work in a variety of ways to raise awareness for sepsis, the third leading cause of death in the U.S.

This year’s Sepsis Heroes includes:

Children’s Hospital Association – The voice of more than 220 children’s hospitals around the country that leads an innovative pediatric sepsis campaign implementing diagnostic and treatment protocols.

Andre Vovan, Hoag Hospital Presbyterian, and Providence St. Joseph Health – The creator of the Hoag Hospital and St. Joseph Hospitals system-wide sepsis campaign and a champion of sepsis identification and treatment, Dr. Vovan has made critical advancements over the last 10 years in raising awareness for sepsis.

Sue Sirianni and Maria Palleschi – These two Detroit Medical Center nurses and research partners have more than 70 years of combined experience in their field. In addition to educating other nurses about sepsis and hosting awareness events, including an annual 5K, the pair have each been personally affected by sepsis.

Sue and Jay Stull – Sue is a fierce sepsis survivor and quadruple amputee who shares her story alongside her husband, Jay. What seemed to have started as a UTI, turned into a near-death experience from sepsis for Sue, requiring a quadruple amputation to her arms and legs as well as relearning how to walk. Now the couple raises awareness of sepsis in their home town of Oklahoma City and nationwide.

Jon Glaudemans – A behind-the-scenes ally, Jon has contributed tremendously to the growth of Sepsis Alliance through the development of multiple strategic partnerships.

In addition, the Erin Kay Flatley Spirit Award is given in memory of Erin Kay Flatley, a 23-year-old aspiring teacher who died unnecessarily of sepsis after a routine surgery. This year’s award belongs to Tony and Liz Galbo who tragically lost their five-year-old daughter, Gabby, to sepsis in 2012. The couple have since raised awareness in their home state of Illinois to such a level that Gabby’s Law was enacted, requiring hospitals to implement sepsis protocols to improve early detection and treatment of sepsis.

These individuals and organizations will be recognized in New York City at the Sepsis Heroes gala on September 14, 2017. The annual event, now in its sixth year, is the centerpiece of Sepsis Awareness Month, bringing together sepsis survivors, family members, patient advocates, healthcare professionals, policy makers, and members of industry who have been instrumental in raising awareness of sepsis as a medical emergency. Tickets for Sepsis Heroes are now on sale, with early bird pricing available. The gala will feature hors d’oeuvres, dinner, and cocktails throughout the evening.

“This year’s Heroes selection process introduced us to so many people and the critical work they perform,” said Thomas Heymann, Executive Director of Sepsis Alliance. “From healthcare professionals to survivors and family members of those who have been stricken by sepsis, their dedication to raising sepsis awareness and helping save others is unparalleled. We wish we could give an award to everyone, but are truly excited to welcome these honorees as our newest Sepsis Heroes.”

Previous Sepsis Heroes include Kennedy Health, Northwell Health System, Every Mother Counts, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, Intermountain Healthcare, author David Goldhill, GE Healthcare, and official NASCAR artist and sepsis survivor, Sam Bass.

Early bird corporate sponsors for this year’s gala include Arena NYC, Erin Kay Flatley Memorial Foundation, Thermo Fisher, BD Life Sciences – Diagnostic Systems, Kennedy Health, Edwards Lifesciences Foundation, bioMerieuex, La Jolla Pharmaceutical, Wolters Kluwer, Merck, Presence Health, Children’s Hospital Association, T2 Biosystems, and Viven Health.

For more information on sepsis and Sepsis Heroes, please visit SepsisHeroes.org.

About Sepsis Alliance

Sepsis Alliance is the leading nonprofit patient advocacy organization in North America. Sepsis Alliance’s mission is to save lives by raising awareness of sepsis as a medical emergency. The organization hosts national and community events, distributes educational information, and promotes training and education on sepsis prevention and early recognition and treatment. Sepsis Alliance also supports sepsis survivors and family members with information about sepsis and Post Sepsis Syndrome, as well as a Faces of Sepsis community forum. The sepsis.org website receives more than 1.5 million visits each year. Sepsis Alliance, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, is a GuideStar Gold Rated Charity. For more information, please visit www.sepsis.org.