2018 Sepsis Heroes Award Recipients

July 9, 2018

2018 Sepsis Heroes

Sepsis Alliance Announces 2018 Sepsis Heroes Award Recipients

Sepsis Alliance to mark Sepsis Awareness Month and celebrate 2018 class of Sepsis Heroes at 7th Annual Sepsis Heroes on September 13, 2018 at Marquee in New York City

SAN DIEGO, Calif, July 9, 2018 – Sepsis Alliance, the nation’s leading sepsis patient advocacy organization, is pleased to celebrate and honor the 2018 Sepsis Heroes, who will be recognized during Sepsis Awareness Month at the 7th Annual Sepsis Heroes gala on September 13, 2018. Ranging from a popular Detroit radio and TV personality to a critical access hospital in rural Kansas, this year’s Sepsis Heroes have demonstrated their dedication to raising awareness and improving treatment for sepsis – the body’s life-threatening response to infection that affects 1.7 million Americans annually.

“Sepsis is a life-threatening and prolific condition that takes about 270,000 lives a year in the U.S., yet it is not very well known among the general public and, surprisingly, healthcare professionals,” said Thomas Heyman, Executive Director of Sepsis Alliance. “The amazing work our 2018 Sepsis Heroes are doing to raise awareness about sepsis and post-sepsis syndrome, improve sepsis treatment, and reduce readmissions is truly lifesaving.”

The 2018 Sepsis Heroes are:

  • Jay Towers, a radio and TV personality in Detroit, almost lost his father to sepsis in November of 2017. Jay immediately took action to spread sepsis awareness. Working with Sepsis Alliance, he shared his father’s story on his popular morning radio show and with his loyal social media following. On Giving Tuesday, he told his father’s story on Fox 2 News in Detroit to help raise funds for Sepsis Alliance. Since then, Jay has been a passionate and active sepsis awareness advocate.
  • UM-PULSE, the University of Michigan Post ICU Longitudinal Survivor Experience clinic, is one of just a few clinics worldwide working to aid patient recovery after ICU discharge and reduce hospital readmissions through a comprehensive, multidisciplinary patient care approach. Sepsis is the leading cause of hospital readmissions with 19% of people hospitalized with sepsis needing to be re-hospitalized within 30 days. UM-PULSE’s innovative approach is aimed at significantly decreasing hospital readmissions, including readmission for sepsis patients.
  • Rooks County Health Center is a 20-bed Critical Access Hospital in rural Plainville, Kansas, which is making great strides in improving sepsis treatment and outcomes for patients in their area. According to the University of Kansas Medical Center, mortality rates for sepsis and septic shock in Kansas are as high as 50% , which is greater than mortality rates for heart attack (9.6%) or stroke (9.3%).
  • Jill Kogan Blake is a sepsis survivor who works tirelessly to educate her community about sepsis. Jill hosts Aquamania! Swim for Sepsis Awareness, an annual sepsis awareness swimming event that has raised over $50,000 for sepsis awareness programs, including funds for the production of Sepsis: First Responders, a sepsis training video designed for emergency medical personnel.
  • Sharon Hansen isa critical care nurse educator with a personal connection to sepsis. In 2003, Sharon’s husband survived sepsis. He was left with post-sepsis syndrome, as are up to 50% of sepsis survivors. Post-sepsis syndrome is a life altering condition that can be mentally and physically debilitating. Now, Sharon is dedicated to educating nurses and health professionals about sepsis and post-sepsis syndrome.

In remembrance of Scott Alling, whose generosity made the first ever Sepsis Heroes gala possible, Sepsis Alliance has created the Scott Alling Entertainer Award. This award will be presented each year to the special guest who performs at the gala. This year, the award will be given to Broadway star Matt Friedman.

The 7th Annual Sepsis Heroes gala will be held at Marquee, one of New York City’s premier event venues. To learn more about the 2018 Sepsis Heroes, purchase tickets to the 7th Annual Sepsis Heroes gala, or to become a sponsor, please visit www.SepsisHeroes.org.

Sepsis Alliance would like to thank their 2018 Sepsis Heroes sponsors, which include: Erin Kay Flatley Memorial Foundation, The Shubert Organization, bioMérieux, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Accelerate Diagnostics, BD, CytoSorbents, Edwards Lifesciences Foundation, Edwards Lifesciences, La Jolla Pharmaceutical, Wolters Kluwer Health, Children’s Hospital Association, Presence Health, 410 Medical, Health Catalyst, Spectrum, Northwell Health.


About Sepsis Alliance

Sepsis Alliance is the leading sepsis advocacy organization in the U.S., working in all 50 states to save lives and reduce suffering from sepsis. The organization was founded in 2007 by Carl Flatley, DDS, whose daughter Erin unnecessarily died of sepsis when she was 23 years old. Carl created the organization to raise sepsis awareness among both the general public and healthcare professionals. The sepsis.org website receives more than 2.5 million visits from patients, families, health providers and industry leaders and advocates each year. Sepsis Alliance is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and a GuideStar Gold Rated Charity. For more information, please visit www.sepsis.org. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter at @SepsisAlliance.

Media Contact:

Angelica Estrada

Sepsis Alliance


(619) 232-0300