BIG KAHUNA CONTEST IS BACK! EVENT SUPPORTS ONLY FREE CLINIC IN THE KEYS
After two postponements due to the coronavirus pandemic, Good Health Clinic’s Big Kahuna contest is back. This time, five people vie for the wooden Kahuna statue.
Every year, the clinic selects exceptional, community-driven individuals from a pool of nominees in Monroe Country to compete in raising funds and spreading the word about the services Good Health Clinic provides. The contestants use their personal and professional networks to raise funds on behalf of the patients at the clinic.
“Through these individuals’ amazing and selfless efforts, the clinic is able to raise needed funding and spread the word about our services so Keys residents know we’re here to help them,” said Kate Banick, executive director. The contest runs through Sept. 29 and the clinic asks for the community’s help in applauding and supporting each contestant. The Big Kahuna winner will be announced at the ninth annual Luau for Health fundraiser at Dolphins Plus Bayside on Oct. 2.
Good Health Clinic is the only free clinic in the Florida Keys that provides comprehensive healthcare for low-income, uninsured residents. This not-for-profit opened its door in Tavernier in 2004 and served a few dozen patients the first year. This past year, 893 adults and children were provided care and nearly $5 million in donated services were received. The clinic has offices in Tavernier and Marathon.
More information is at 305-853-1788, via email at gro.cinilchtlaehdoogeht@ofni, or at www.thegoodhealthclinic.org. More information about the fundraiser is available from Banick at 305-619-0154 or at thegoodhealthclinic.org/luau-for-health/.
DEREK PAPP, orthopedic surgeon, Mariners Hospital
Papp moved to Key Largo after Hurricane Irma and immediately fell in love with the community. He’s an orthopedic surgeon who attended Johns Hopkins for medical school and residency, and completed his sports medicine fellowship with his current partners at Doctors Hospital in Coral Gables.
He also works as a team physician/consultant for the Baltimore Orioles and spends much of his free time helping the team out wherever asked — and traveled to Korea and Mexico as a MLB physician during the World Baseball Classic. Papp recently organized an international conference for orthopedic surgeons in Antarctica.
“Good Health Clinic provides an important and amazing service to the Keys community — they’re easily some of my favorite and most thankful patients,” he said. “It’s an honor to be asked to help this year and very easy to say, ‘yes.’”
DREW GROSSMAN, chief executive officer, Mariners Hospital
Grossman has been chief executive officer of Mariners Hospital in Tavernier and Fishermen’s Community Hospital in Marathon since February 2021. Grossman earned a bachelor’s from Pennsylvania State University and a master’s in health services administration from George Washington University, in Washington, D.C. After completing his administrative residency at Parkway Medical Center in North Miami Beach, he joined Centinela Hospital Medical Center in Southern California, serving as assistant administrator. In 2002, he returned to Florida to assume leadership positions at Cleveland Clinic in Weston and Parkway Medical Center in North Miami Beach. He joined Broward Health as chief executive officer of Broward Health Coral Springs and Salah Foundation Children’s Hospital. Before joining Baptist Health South Florida, he was chief executive officer at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Blue Springs, Missouri.
“I am running for Big Kahuna because it’s about the community raising funds and awareness,” he said, “as part of giving back to a great place like Good Health Clinic, which strives each day to provide primary and in-service care to those who truly need it.”
HOLLY MERRILL RASCHEIN
Raschein served in the Florida House of Representatives from 2012-2020, representing the 120th district, which includes Monroe County and Southern Miami-Dade County. Originally from Alaska, she attended Florida State University, where she graduated with a degree in political science in 2003. She then moved to the Keys, where she worked as a legislative aide for representatives Ken Sorensen and Ron Saunders.
She is active in numerous organizations including Young Philanthropists of Baptist Health, Leadership Monroe County, the Monroe County Education Foundation, the Florida Council on Arts & Culture, the American Flood Coalition and the Rotary Club of Key Largo.
“As the premiere provider of quality healthcare services to the uninsured or underinsured community in the Florida Keys, I couldn’t be prouder to support the Good Health Clinic as a contender in the Big Kahuna contest and look forward to supporting the Luau for Health,” she said. “Mahalo nui loa!”
KRISTINE COX, general manager, Playa Largo
Cox is the general manager of Playa Largo, on the Florida Bay in Key Largo. Born and raised in the resort town of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Cox has always been drawn to the hospitality field. Her experience and talents span the industry, from catering manager and director of catering to front office manager, rooms division manager and director of operations, and ultimately, general manager by the time she was 30. Cox was general manager at the Hilton Head Marriott Resort and Spa, director of catering and acting general manager at Myrtle Beach Marriott Resort and general manager at Hilton Fort Lauderdale Airport hotel before that, among other roles.
She and her husband have a blended family with four children, a dog and cats. She’s currently on the board of the Key Largo Chamber of Commerce and lives in the Upper Keys.
“Time is always of the essence for many and even more these days,” she said. “I want to take myself to new levels of life and assist in such a wonderful cause for the community with time. Good Health Clinic provides a critical outlet for so many neighbors that we share conversations and time with daily. I am honored to run for the Big Kahuna in support of the community that the Good Health Clinic stands for and provides. Let’s rise together and lift others around us up.”
SUZI YOUNGBERG, community outreach specialist, History of Diving Museum
Suzi Youngberg is a 24-year resident of the Florida Keys. For many of those years, she worked in corporate financial insurance, traveling often to visit clients across three states. She began volunteering for the American Cancer Society, serving as Relay For Life event chair in 2016 and 2017, while working in radio as a sales executive and on-air personality. In 2018, she became the Florida Keys development manager for the American Cancer Society and spent three years organizing events, volunteers and donors throughout the Florida Keys. Youngberg now assists the History of Diving Museum as the community outreach specialist. She also serves as president of Upper Keys Business and Professional Women, delegate to the council of presidents for the Florida Federation of Business and Professional Women, and sits on the Upper Keys advisory council for Community Foundation of the Florida Keys.
“I am proud to be competing for Big Kahuna and raising funds for the Good Health Clinic,” she said. “Good Health Clinic provides such a necessary role supporting the health of our community and so many rely on their services. It’s all about helping our neighbors. See you at the Luau.”
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