PITTSBURGH, Pa. — In a ceremony on Monday, the Highmark Health organization honored dedicated employees for their outstanding volunteer work by presenting them with Jefferson Awards for Public Service and a monetary contribution for the nonprofit organization of their choice.
One of those winners is Cheri McCollum, of Albany, Ohio. McCollum is a senior customer service representative with Highmark West Virginia Inc.
McCollum is a volunteer emergency medical technician with her local fire department, responding to 911 calls and involved with grant writing, reporting, fundraising, and attending parades. McCollum’s township is located approximately 20 minutes from the closest paid emergency medical services crew. By responding as volunteers, her squad can reduce the response time of emergency calls to about 10 minutes.
One of McCollum’s proudest moments was when her friend posted on Facebook declaring her as one of the people who had saved her life. “Knowing a little girl gets to grow up with her mom because I was there is an amazing thing.”
Highmark Health is one of 28 U.S. organizations that serve as Jefferson Awards Champions, bringing to the workplace the highest honor for public service, established more than four decades ago by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and other public figures.
Highmark Health was the very first organization in the country to receive certification from the Jefferson Awards Foundation as an outstanding employee volunteer organization. As a Jefferson Awards Champion, Highmark Health annually recognizes employees who reflect the awards’ value that each citizen is responsible for working to improve life in their communities through economic participation, public service, volunteerism and other efforts.
“Each year, when we honor employees through the Jefferson Awards, I am always left simply amazed and inspired by their passion and dedication to public service,” said Dan Onorato, executive vice president, Highmark Health. “At Highmark Health, we believe that we share a responsibility to give back to, reinvest in, and strengthen our communities. These employees have shown what it means to be committed to that belief. We congratulate and applaud them for making such a powerful difference in their communities and beyond.”
Jason Holman of Orlando, Florida and optician at Visionworks, was selected as Highmark Health’s overall winner and will represent the company at the National Jefferson Awards Conference in Washington, D.C. in June.
The Highmark Health employees honored (listed with employer and hometown) are:
Lucas Boyd, Highmark Inc. (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Weatta Frazier Collins, Highmark Inc. (Maple Glen, Pa.)
Hector Gonzalez, Visionworks (Miami, Fla.)
Myla Granadino, Highmark Inc. (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Antoinette Hill, Highmark Inc. (Cresco, Pa.)
Jason Holman, Visionworks (Orlando, Fla.)
Dr. Michelle Cadet Honore, Visionworks (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Cheri McCollum, Highmark West Virginia (Columbia Township, Ohio)
Jenny Sabol, Highmark Inc. (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Dave Seaman, HM Health Solutions (Dauphin, Pa.)
Latha Thomas, Highmark Health (Mechanicsburg, Pa.)
Gina Wynn, Highmark Health (Pittsburgh, Pa.)