Springfield, MO

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Opinion: Health workers earned extra celebration in 2020; Judges; and Judging Process

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Typically, this time of year would be all about preparing for the holidays – traveling through busy airports, meeting up with distant family members and friends, thoughts of “Friendsgiving,” Black Friday crowds, and many large and joyous events. Of course, the trajectory of 2020 makes those things nearly an impossible thought, and instead we worry about how to keep our families and communities safe and thriving.

This year, it is even more important to celebrate those health care providers and organizations that have worked tirelessly and selflessly at a time that seems to never end and with ostensibly insurmountable concerns. The 11th class of Springfield Business Journal’s Health Care Champions is a group that exemplifies the values of our community and the many priorities that keep the area flourishing. These individuals and businesses have created hope, joy and accessible information in a year that has not been easy for anyone.

Overall health has been a recurring theme in many unexpected venues this year, putting a spotlight on such demure topics as handwashing that otherwise typically lie dormant in our conversations. Despite the challenges, this set of health care leaders has risen to the occasion, and we are all better for it.

From individual providers who put the health needs of children at the forefront to organizations whose focus is to create dignity in end-of-life care, the Health Care Champions of 2020 are a unique and robust group. Thank you to the Springfield Business Journal for reflecting on these providers and giving us an avenue to celebrate their accomplishments.

Dr. Ashley Popejoy is the director of pediatric dentistry at Jordan Valley Community Health Center and was a 2019 Health Care Champions Top Doctor. She can be reached at


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