Athletics honors 12 medical “Health Care Heroes” with tickets to historic first game at Protective Stadium

2021 UAB Medicine Excellence Awards winners will be honored by athletics on the field on Saturday.

UAB Athleticshealthcare heroes.3Ronnie Edmond and Jessica Pescatore will honor Birmingham’s “Health Care Heroes” this Saturday for the inaugural Blazers football game in Protective Stadium against Liberty at 6 p.m.

UAB football coach Bill Clark and quarterback Tyler Johnston III recently delivered four tickets each to 12 health care workers whom UAB Medicine identified as 2021 Excellence Awards winners.  

“We certainly recognize the burden these past 19 months have had on everyone at UAB Medicine and in UAB Hospital, and we want everyone who works there to know how much we appreciate their spirit, their willingness to help others and their sacrifice,” said Mark Ingram, UAB’s director of Athletics. “We know the best part of what makes UAB a world-class academic medical center is the people who work here. We are honored to be associated with them, and we are excited to recognize them and all of our health care heroes Saturday at Protective Stadium.”

The 12 UAB Medicine employees are:

  • Andrea Boohaker, nurse practitioner, Orthopedic Surgery
  • Andrew Baldwin, CMA, Nephrology
  • Ashley Reed, radiation technologist
  • Dorothea Staursky, manager, COVID Testing Operations
  • Jessica Pescatore, pharmacy
  • Kenyah Davis, clerical
  • Lester Williams, Perioperative services technician
  • Mijah Williams, clerical
  • Pat Davis, PT advocate
  • Allison Strider, nurse practitioner, Outpatient Infusion Therapy Services
  • Ronnie Edmond, Environmental Services
  • Tonya Hinson, Environmental Services

Workers throughout all areas of UAB Medicine have been stretched in ways they could not have foreseen 19 months ago when the COVID-19 pandemic began. Those who received tickets to this historic first game at Protective Stadium says they are appreciative and excited to be cheering on the Blazers this weekend.  

UAB Football season and single-game tickets are available here or by calling the UAB Athletics Ticket Office at 205-975-UAB1.

“It was very kind for Coach Clark and Tyler to take time to come over, say thank you and give us tickets to the first game at Protective Stadium,” said Allison Strider, a nurse practitioner in Infusion Therapy Services. “This will be my first UAB game since I was getting my undergraduate degree here, so I’m very excited to go.”  

“This will be my first UAB game,” said Jessica Pescatore, a clinical pharmacist in the Department of Emergency Medicine. “Protective Stadium is a beautiful addition to downtown Birmingham and will allow for amazing memories to come. I’m excited.”  

Dorothea Staursky grew up in the Birmingham metro area and attended her fair share of UAB games at Legion Field.

“This historic game is very special to me, and it’s an exciting time for UAB and the Birmingham community,” Staursky said. “I can’t wait. Go, Blazers!”  

Ronnie “JJ” Edmond, a 22-year UAB employee and Environmental Services specialist, says the past 19 months have been stressful for many working in health care. To have the opportunity to enjoy a UAB football game in person will be a big stress-reliever for him, he says.

“I have never seen anything like COVID in my 46 years in working with hospitals,” Edmond said. “I am excited about receiving tickets to the game. I have really enjoyed following Coach Clark’s success, and I am excited about going to the new stadium.”

healthcare heroes.2Allison Strider and Dorothea StaurskyThe employees all say these past 19 months have been challenging in many ways and rewarding in others.

“Seeing the gratitude of our patients and camaraderie of our staff — “The COVID Army” — made any difficult day one in which I know that, despite the challenges, we were making a positive impact,” said Staursky, who was the manager of COVID testing operations last year and is now the manager of Strategic Initiatives for the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center.  

All three have felt the effects of the pandemic as health care providers and, in some instances, as caregivers.

“I have celebrated miraculous stories while simultaneously experiencing loss,” Pescatore said. “Despite the hills and valleys, however, I am strengthened in knowing our work serves a purpose and makes a difference. I am honored to be surrounded by such a resilient, compassionate, selfless group of people, and I am so proud to work alongside them.”

UAB Football season and single-game tickets are available here or by calling the UAB Athletics Ticket Office at 205-975-UAB1. Guarantee your place in history by purchasing your tickets for the upcoming 2021 season now.