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Sepsis Heroes

Sepsis Alliance hosted the 9th annual Sepsis Heroes gala virtually on September 17, 2020. The annual event, timed to coincide with Sepsis Awareness Month, honored Sepsis Heroes who have made a significant contribution to sepsis awareness and education among both the general public and healthcare professionals.

Download the 9th annual Sepsis Heroes program here.

Meet the 2020 Class of Sepsis Heroes

From a grandfather, sepsis survivor, and advocate in North Carolina to a community hospital reducing sepsis mortality in Los Angeles, CA, the 2020 Sepsis Heroes have made great strides in raising sepsis awareness and helping save lives in their communities and across the nation. 

The 2020 Sepsis Heroes were:  

  • Emanuel Rivers, MD, MPH, Vice Chairman and Director of Research in emergency medicine at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, MI, published a landmark paper in 2001 that revolutionized sepsis care and has saved countless lives by suggesting that the timely identification and treatment of sepsis are critical to the survival of patients. 
  • Rusty Wagstaffgrandfather in North Carolina, lost both his legs below the knee and his right arm to sepsis in 2013. Determined to raise sepsis awareness, he is a leading advocate, participating in sepsis awareness events and sharing his sepsis story widely through local and national press. 
  • Kathy Madlem, BSN, RNthe Sepsis Quality Improvement Coordinator at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC) in San Jose, CA, led her hospital to a 50% drop in their sepsis mortality rate over 5 years by engaging in sepsis education opportunities and spearheading the development of the sepsis improvement program. She also organizes an annual sepsis conference in San Jose. 
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital, a safety-net hospital in South Los Angeles, CA, reduced sepsis mortality in their facility by establishing a multidisciplinary team to develop and institute a sepsis protocol that delivers timely evidence-based care to patients. 
  • Ohio Hospital Associationwhich represents health systems and hospitals throughout Ohiois taking the lead in reducing sepsis mortality in the state by raising sepsis awareness, providing sepsis education, and improving sepsis management. 


2019 Sepsis Heroes gala

Sepsis Alliance hosted the 8th Sepsis Heroes, the organization’s annual fundraising gala, on September 12, 2019 at Marquee in New York City.

Click here to see photos from the 2019 gala.

The 2019 class of Sepsis Heroes ranged from a former four-term Governor to a children’s hospital in Texas. To meet them, click here.


Thank you to our 2020 sponsors


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