25th Anniversary Awards Gala

For a very special evening, join the celebration Sunday, April 29th when telemedicine comes together to recognize innovation and dedication that is transforming healthcare. ATA invites everyone registered for ATA18 to join telehealth’s leaders at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History for an evening of celebration.

The dinner is where we will recognize the deserving recipients of awards for innovation and transformation, for telehealth’s woman of the year and for championing telemedicine. The evening’s awards will culminate with the presentation of ATA’s Humanitarian Award, this year being given to two recipients representing the achievement of telehealth’s highest aspirations.

Tickets are sure to go fast for this evening which is certain to be remembered. To purchase yours, go to registration homepage.

Award Recipients

ATA’s Woman of the Year Award recognizes a female who exemplifies exceptional qualities as a role model in leadership and entrepreneurship of a telemedicine company, organization, or program. She is recognized by her peers as an inspirational executive that leads with strong business acuity, yet has outstanding skills for recognizing and nurturing female leaders of the future.

Recipient: Deanna Larson, CEO of Avera eCare

Deanna Larson is an innovative leader who captured a vision for using telemedicine to provide rural patients and health practitioners around the clock access to lifesaving expertise. She inherited a small but mighty telemedicine department in 2006. As a nurse and quality leader, she understood the isolation of rural practice and saw the opportunity to take telemedicine a step further and bring the 24/7 resources of urban facilities to the bedsides of rural hospitals. Passionate, yet humble, Deanna has worked with her team to build Avera’s virtual hospital. Today, Avera eCARE is one of the world’s most extensive telemedicine network of its kind serving fifteen states, reaching the entire healthcare continuum and serving approximately 50,000 patients / year. Deanna’s passion and commitment to service has inspired her team and others across the US to stretch beyond existing healthcare paradigms to innovatively serve populations with unmet needs.


President’s Award for the Transformation of Healthcare Delivery recognizes the leadership of an organization that incorporates virtual healthcare services as part of an initiative resulting in improved quality and a better value of healthcare for a large population of patients. Sponsored by Cerner Corporation

Recipient: Nemours Children’s Health System Center for Health Delivery Innovation

Nemours CareConnect (NCC), is transforming healthcare delivery for pediatric patients where they live, work and play. Helping address the shortage of pediatric subspecialists, it significantly reduces emergency department visits, avoidable hospitalizations and overall costs. NCC delivers 27 specialties to 70 partner hospitals ERs, PICUs, NICUs/inpatient, primary care, schools (including special needs schools), and cruise ships. 400+ Nemours clinicians deliver telemedicine with likelihood to recommend scores from a Press Ganey pilot in the 95th percentile. NCC has a 93% 4- or 5-star rating with wait times under 5 minutes. NCC allows Nemours to deliver the best care in the least acute setting, diverting ER visits by 25% and urgent care by 34%. During hurricanes Irma and Maria, NCC carts in 3 special needs shelters and at the Orlando airport helped the Florida Department of Health rapidly assess arriving Puerto Rico evacuees = 2,139 downloads, 270+ patients.


President’s Award for Innovation in Remote Healthcare recognizes advances in telemedicine. Sponsored by Intouch Health Inc.

Recipient: Christopher W. Kennedy, Founder; HemoMD

HemoMD is an on-demand virtual care platform designed specifically for the needs of hemophilia patients that currently experience significant barriers to accessing qualified expert care. The organization represents the opportunity for telemedicine to improve outcomes in rare disease and chronic condition patient populations. HemoMD delivers a Virtual Integrated Practice Unit (VIPU) model of care that surrounds a patient with experts from different specialties that have traditionally been independent from one another. Improving health outcomes for patients through stakeholder collaboration and telemedicine best practices is core to HemoMD’s mission. Their unwavering commitment to enhancing the Patient Experience is reflected in their organizational membership with The Beryl Institute.


ATA Champion Award recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to ATA’s strategy to advocate for public policy changes that open payment support and provide regulatory relief.

Recipient: S. David McSwain, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Pediatric Critical Care, Medical University of South Carolina

Over the past five years, Dr. McSwain has established himself as one of the most passionate and effective advocates for telehealth in the country. He is a leading voice both in South Carolina and across the country for the responsible, collaborative, patient-centered growth of telehealth services. He has a keen eye for the gaps in telehealth policy and development, and has been able target those issues while simultaneously building national and statewide collaborations to address them. He led the development of the ATA Operating Procedures for Pediatric Telehealth and gained the endorsement multiple powerful professional societies. He founded the Children’s Telehealth Collaborative in South Carolina and co-founded the SPROUT Collaborative for pediatric telehealth research. He is also part of team of telehealth experts in South Carolina that is crafting federal telehealth pilot legislation to improve reimbursement of telehealth for chronic conditions.


ATA Humanitarian Award honors the dedication of persons and organizations who reach out to underserved populations or people in crisis, utilizing the unique attributes of telemedicine technology. Sponsored by Cisco Systems, Inc.

Recipient: Walter Panzirer, Trustee; The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust

The Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting exceptional efforts in the U.S. and around the world to improve people’s health, and through select place-based initiatives. Helmsley began its active grantmaking in 2008 after the passing a year earlier of Leona Helmsley, who left nearly all of the Helmsleys’ estate to the Helmsley Charitable Trust. Since beginning active grantmaking, Helmsley has committed more than $2 billion for a wide range of charitable purposes.

Recipient: Lord Swinfen and Lady Swinfen; The Swinfen Charitable Trust, Swinfen Telemedicine, United Kingdom

Swinfen Charitable Trust has been at the forefront of using the internet to assist the medical treatment of poor, sick and disabled people worldwide. Their humanitarian network is the longest operating telemedicine non-profit in existence and their goal is to build the world’s free medical lifeline.


View the press release.