October 19, 2018

Healthy Learners names Champion for Children award recipient

Healthy Learners has named M. John Heydel as the recipient of the 2018 Healthy Learners Champion for Children Award.

The Healthy Learners Champion for Children Award recognizes and honors an individual who has served as an advocate for children and brought attention to the needs of underserved children in the community through volunteer time, financial support and commitment to Healthy Learners.

Heydel was one of the visionaries behind the establishment of Healthy Learners in 1992. Heydel has demonstrated his long-term commitment to increasing access to health care for children, performed significant actions that have led to long-lasting positive impact and advanced the mission of Healthy Learners through his personal commitment of time, talent, financial resources and service.

Awarded by Healthy Learners and the Healthy Learners Board of Trustees, the award will be presented to Heydel during the 19th Annual Healthy Learners Champions for Children Golf Tournament in Memory of George Younginer on Wednesday, October 24, at the Fort Jackson Golf Club in Columbia, South Carolina.

Heydel, former president and CEO of Providence Hospitals and Self Regional Hospital where he served until retirement, has been involved with Healthy Learners for 26 years and continues to this day. He has served on and chaired several boards to include the Healthy Learners Board of Trustees, South Carolina Hospital Association, Palmetto Health Trust Service and Rotary Club of Greenwood past president, as well as president emeritus of Self Regional Healthcare and Countybank trustee emeritus.

“The leadership John provides to Healthy Learners is unmatched. He is the true definition of a servant leader. His selfless acts of kindness and support for the children and families we serve is a testimony to the person he is,” said Jo Pauling-Jones, executive director of Healthy Learners. “He has a big heart and would prefer to serve behind the scenes, but Healthy Learners would not have positively impacted the lives of 14,238 children we’ve served without John. I am truly honored to see him receive the Champion for Children award this year.”

“I have been honored to be involved with Healthy Learners from the very beginning and appreciate whatever contributions I can make to supporting the mission of Healthy Learners. The real recognition belongs to the children we serve and the health care providers who work so hard in helping children get the attention and support they need to enjoy a healthy, productive life,” said Heydel.

Healthy Learners is a faith-based non-profit that connects children to care so that poor health is not an obstacle to doing well in school. The organization addresses poverty at its root, so that future generations can lift themselves, and their communities, to a better life. 

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From its Cleveland headquarters, the Sisters of Charity Health System provides oversight, leadership and strategic direction to more than 20 organizations responding to community needs in Canton and Cleveland, Ohio, and South Carolina.

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