Acts of compassion are being committed daily in Louisville in all walks of life. There aren’t many cities that celebrate compassion with a full week of giving every year, with Mayor Greg Fischer encouraging community members to give thousands of hours to performing acts of compassion to improve our community.

Those who work in the healthcare community seem to have an extra sense of compassion, with many working to help those who struggle with various challenges in their lives. Two years ago, the Compassionate Louisville Healthcare Constellation held its first luncheon to shine a light on those who make a difference in the lives of others.

Last February the second annual “Commitment to Compassion” luncheon took place at the Muhammad Ali Center. Among the six honorees were Jonathan Sayat, M.D., Pediatrician and Associate Professor with UofL Physicians, and Mary Haynes, President and CEO of Nazareth Home.

Sayat is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. After graduating from Duke University in 1994, he earned his medical degree at the Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health in 2000. He chose the University of Louisville Hospital for his residency, and has been here ever since.

Sayat is a leader among the dozens of medical personnel who volunteer for Healthy Hoops Kentucky, an annual event that offers asthma screenings and counseling to kids, ages 7-13, and their families.

“My nephew, twin brother and niece all had it, so I saw it growing up,” said Dr. Sayat, who leads a team of volunteers who provide comprehensive clinical screenings at the annual event.

Mary Haynes took over leadership of the Nazareth Home, Inc. in 2001, and is now in the midst of a $43 million expansion project designed to meet changing demands at her organization’s Sacred Heart Home in Clifton, which it acquired in 2016. Nazareth’s original facility is on Newburg Road. The organization provides housing and services for the elderly.

Haynes began her career as a nurse at Our Lady of Peace, helping individuals dealing with mental health issues. As a business leader, she applies the compassion of a nurse with the decision-making that is required of her position.

She spent a part of her career working with Alzheimer’s patients, and feels that working with elders is part of her calling.

“Nazareth Home creates community through collaboration between elders, their families and our staff to ensure the elder’s day is based on their choices,” she said on Nazareth website. “It is also a unique opportunity for the elder and their family to tell us their story and to allow us the opportunity to honor who they are and who they want to be.”

Under Haynes’ leadership, Nazareth has been recognized nationally. It earned a five-star rating with U.S. News and World Report, was named by the Courier-Journal as one of the top places to work, and was awarded “Facility of the Year” by the Kentucky Association of Healthcare Facilities in 2012.

Dr. Sayat and Haynes were joined by four others who were recognized at the 2016 Commitment to Compassion luncheon. The others were Sarah Daniel, Nurse Practitioner with MD2U, Diane Riff, Assistant Professor and Family Nurse Practitioner, UofL School of Nursing, Betty J. Adkins, Community Resource Development Manager at Louisville Metro Department of Health and Public Wellness, and Lisa Benner, Transformation Coach at ChooseWell Communities.

The awards recognize and honor dedicated health care professionals who exemplify true compassion in the workplace.

The search for honorees for the 2018 luncheon is now underway. It is sponsored by Passport Health Plan, Compassionate Louisville, and Insider Louisville.

If you have a hero for compassion in your life, please nominate them here:

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The mission of the Partnership for a Compassionate Louisville is to champion and nurture the growth of compassion.We ask: ‘What does compassion want for Louisville?’


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