• Care Ring

Maribelle Connerat Award!



Care Ring honors Dr. Alisahah Cole and Dr. Ophelia Garmon-Brown with Maribelle Connerat Award: Recipients are recognized for their contributions to expanding healthcare access in Charlotte.

Care Ring, a leader and innovator in connecting people with limited resources to high-quality health care in Mecklenburg County, hosted its annual fundraising luncheon on Oct. 10 where they recognized Dr. Alisahah Cole, Medical Director for Community Health at Carolinas HealthCare System, and Dr. Ophelia Garmon-Brown, Senior Vice-President of Community Wellness and Education at Novant Health, with the Maribelle Connerat Award.

Named for Care Ring’s founder, the Maribelle Connerat Award recognizes exemplary leadership in healthcare innovation and servant leadership. “Dr. Cole and Dr. Garmon-Brown are two extraordinary servant leaders. They bring passion and commitment to provide excellent health care to all in our community,” said Don Jonas, Care Ring’s Executive Director. “They are creating positive partnerships between Carolinas HealthCare System and Novant Health in ways that seemed impossible only a few years ago. These two individuals embrace and truly live out the vision of Maribelle Connerat, and it is a great honor to present this award to both of these physicians.”

“…Thanks to their hard work, we are building a world class team, bringing people in the community together to collaborate on what matters most, a shared mission around community health” said Gene Woods, President and CEO for Carolinas HealthCare System, in a recorded statement congratulating the two women. President and CEO of Novant Health, Carl Armato, also offered his compliments to the awardees in a recorded statement. “Like Maribelle, these women have dedicated their careers to improving the health of our community’s most vulnerable citizens,” he said. “Their most recent work…is to be commended.”

Along with access to primary care services, Care Ring is Mecklenburg’s only organization serving the uninsured with access to specialty care free of charge, coordinating the donation of $17.4M in life-saving medical and dental care for the uninsured in the last year. Care Ring is also Mecklenburg’s long-standing Nurse-Family Partnership implementing agency, reaching 860 low-income, first-time mothers and their babies since 2008, which is poised for further expansion in the coming year.

“Care Ring’s steadfast partnership with both hospital systems is fundamental to our ability to meet the health and wellness needs of our most vulnerable neighbors. Our entire community benefits from the unprecedented collaboration between Novant Health and Carolinas HealthCare System” said Jonas. “From providing high-quality prenatal, maternal and children’s services for Care Ring NFP moms and babies to donating millions of dollars in life-saving medical care for those most in need, both hospitals are critical to Care Ring’s mission. I thank them on behalf of our team, Board of Directors, supporters, and the 7,000 residents of our community we serve each year.”

“I would encourage everyone, as I do myself, to share your treasures with Care Ring” said Dr. Garmon-Brown, “…because they will use [it] in an amazing way.”

Care Ring works to empower individuals with limited resources to establish and maintain good health. Today, our organization leads a collaborative effort to meet the changing health care needs of our community and works to ensure that all members of the community have access to affordable, high-quality and timely healthcare. Care Ring improves access to quality healthcare services, implements evidenced-based programs, and leverages community partnerships to build a continuum of public health services for our community. Care Ring’s three service lines are the Low-Cost Clinic, Physicians Reach Out for the uninsured and the Nurse-Family Partnership program for first-time moms.

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