Sepsis Alliance’s Annual Gala Recognizes Six Sepsis Heroes, Raises Over $100,000 for Sepsis Awareness Efforts

September 22, 2015

The annual Sepsis Heroes event brings sepsis survivors, researchers, thought leaders, and medical professionals together to recognize individuals and organizations making an impact in sepsis awareness. The event, held annually in New York City, raised over $100,000 for sepsis outreach efforts.

New York City, NY (September 22, 2015) Sepsis Alliance recognized six honorees at the Sepsis Heroes gala on September 17, 2015. The evening, which brought together doctors, nurses, first responders, researchers and patients, raised over $100,000 for sepsis awareness efforts, a new record for the charity.

This year’s class of Sepsis Heroes included Kevin Tracey, MD, President and CEO of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research; Sam Bass, the first officially-licensed artist of NASCAR and a sepsis survivor; Rom Duckworth, an emergency responder and award-winning educator; Leo Araujo, sepsis awareness advocate; Susan Irick, sepsis survivor, nurse, and sepsis and pneumonia disease manager at Northeast Georgia Medical Center; and Carolinas Healthcare System, which developed a Sepsis Collaborative to improve recognition of sepsis and reduce mortality.

“This special event is a rare opportunity to bring together people that, in one profound way or another, have been impacted by sepsis,” said Thomas Heymann, Executive Director of Sepsis Alliance. “This year, we were touched by the incredible level of support from survivors, family members of sepsis patients, industry partners, and medical professionals.”

More than 150 guests heard first-hand stories of survival and loss of life from sepsis, as well as messages from healthcare professionals who are working in research, management, and direct treatment of sepsis. Musical entertainment was provided by musician and entertainer Matthew Friedman, while Leah Binder, President and CEO of The Leapfrog Group, was the keynote speaker.

“An event like this helps bring the word ‘sepsis’ to the public’s attention, and shows people the faces of those who are touched by it,” said Dr. Jim O’Brien, Sepsis Alliance Medical Director and emcee for the evening. “Too many people still don’t know what sepsis is, let alone how to recognize it and treat it. Thanks to Sepsis Heroes, we hope to change that.”

Guests at this year’s Sepsis Heroes were able to participate in on-site silent auctions, as well as special “Fund a Need” cards that allowed donors to select the number of hospitals to receive sepsis starter kits. Thanks to the generosity of attendees, donors, and sponsors, Sepsis Heroes raised over $100,000 that will directly fund upcoming educational initiatives.

Major funding for the event was provided by Arena Event Space and NorthShore-LIJ, as well as Leading BioSciences. Additional funding came from the NASCAR Foundation, CytoSorbents, Wolters Kluwer Health, Thermo Fisher Scientific, BioMérieux, Tenax Therapeutics, Merck, Checklist Boards Corporation, Presence Health, EMC2, Intermountain Healthcare, HP, CDI, Tenet Health, and Spike Out Sepsis.

To learn more about Sepsis Heroes, and to see a gallery of photos from the event, please visit:

About Sepsis Alliance

Sepsis Alliance is the leading nonprofit patient advocacy organization in North America promoting awareness of sepsis. 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 of sepsis and its devastating effects. Sepsis Alliance also provides support by giving patients and family members information about sepsis and Post Sepsis Syndrome, as well as a community forum to share their experiences. Sepsis Alliance, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, is a GuideStar Gold Rated Charity and a founding member of the Global Sepsis Alliance. For more information, please visit