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Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 8:53 am | Updated: 9:22 am, Fri Feb 15, 2013.

More than 150 people were dressed to the nines in Ironstone Vineyard’s ballroom Saturday evening at the Golden Health Awards held to bestow honors on health care professionals and give back to the community.

Gentlemen dusted off their tuxedos, some needing a waistline adjustment, and ladies happily used the event as an excuse to select a gorgeous gown from their closet. Guests sipped champagne and enjoyed socializing before meandering into the ballroom for dinner and the award ceremony.

Colleen Smart was given a lifetime achievement award for her many years of service to the health care community.

Smart served on the Mark Twain Hospital District board for 32 years and was largely responsible for saving the hospital from closure in the 1980s. She also was instrumental in building the hospital’s new wing and establishing the hospital foundation.

“The hospital you walk through today is the one she pretty much built,” her son, Dr. Randy Smart, said. “She really devoted her heart and soul to this hospital and did great things.”

Colleen Smart thanked the foundation for the honor and encouraged the health care community to focus on educating the county’s youth.

Dr. Ryan Thompson was honored with an award for his delivery of excellent care through body, mind and spirit.

Thompson said he was humbled to be recognized by the people whom he serves in the community, especially with so many other deserving doctors in the county.

He has practiced medicine in Calaveras County for 25 years, cofounded Mind Matters with his wife Kim, a nonprofit treatment center serving families affected by attention deficit disorder, autism and learning disabilities and served on the board of the Christian Family Learning Center for 10 years.

After receiving the award, Thompson said there was nothing more important in his life than family and he thanked them for their love and support. He also expressed gratitude to his staff at Mind Matters, his family practice and to Dr. Peter Oliver and Dr. Rodger Orman for their kind words.

“The fact that I am able to be here in Murphys with my family, live this lifestyle and be successful doing something I love are all tremendous blessings,” he said. “Who could write a script like this?”

Along with Smart and Thompson’s awards, the foundation recognized five nonprofits in the community, each with a $1,000 gift.

Those recognized were: The Resource Connection Food Bank, Calaveras Youth Mentoring Program and Foundation, Blue Mountain Coalition for Youth and Families and the Calaveras County Behavioral Health and the Calaveras Senior Center. Mind Matters also received a $1,000 gift from the foundation.

Of the nonprofits honored, the Blue Mountain Coalition for Youth and Families, which operates in West Point, was chosen to receive an additional $4,000 gift to further its goals.

“The Mark Twain Health Care District and Medical Center Foundation were pleased with the outpouring of interest in supporting those in the community who provide health care,” said Peggy Lucas, vice president of philanthropy for MTMCF. “It was quite rewarding to honor individuals and non-profit organizations whose efforts make a significant positive impact on the health and wellness of the community each and every day.”

“There was a wonderful crowd of people,” she continued. “For the first event it was amazing.”

Lucas said she hopes the Golden Health Awards will be an annual event.

“Each year we will honor a health care provider, and if there is somebody who would qualify, we will consider giving a lifetime achievement award.”

© 2015 Calaveras Enterprise. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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