Neonatal Dr. Julio Vallette Races For His Babies

By  //  July 31, 2013

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March Of Dimes AMBASSADOR

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Today, the 53 year-old director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Health First’s Holmes Regional Medical Center, Dr. Julio Vallette, is a competitor in several amateur divisions of the Florida region of the Championship Cup Series (CCS), a national motor cycle racing organization. (Lisa Theobald image)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA — When Indialantic neonatologist, Dr. Julio Vallette began road-racing motorcycles five years ago, he probably wasn’t aware then of how his career and his hobby would someday become intertwined.

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“For me, motorcycle racing is something that keeps my mind sharp – it is my passion, and I love the challenge this sport offers,” said Dr. Julio Vallette, pictured above with his wife, Susan. (Lisa Theobald image)

Today, the 53 year-old director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Health First’s Holmes Regional Medical Center, is a competitor in several amateur divisions of the Florida region of the Championship Cup Series (CCS), a national motor cycle racing organization.

He rides and is winning on his 2006 Yamaha R-6 while sporting a new look that promotes awareness for a cause he says goes hand-in-hand with his career.

His purple and yellow sport bike, on which is painted the traditional “March of Dimes” colors and the foundation logo, is one he says he rides with great pride in support of the non-profit’s mission to promote research and prevention for premature births.

“I take a moment every time I throw a leg over my bike to remember that it is ‘the newborn little friends’ on behalf of whom I am racing,” said Vallette.

HONORARY AMBASSADOR

Space Coast March of Dimes area director Gregory Stephens agrees that Dr. Vallette’s hobby has been a unique marketing tool for the foundation.

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Dr. Julio Vallette, above, is the medical director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Health First Holmes Regional in Melbourne. (Image for SpaceCoastDaily.com)

“I have watched him compete at several CCS events, and each time he completes rounding the track he has made comments similar to: ‘that race was in support of my babies,’” said Stephens.

“We are fortunate to have him on our March of Dimes team.”

Vallette, who has spent the past 26 years meeting the clinical needs of premature infants, was named honorary ambassador for the local chapter of the March of Dimes last year. Vallette Races For Babies

“I take a moment every time I throw a leg over my bike to remember that it is ‘the newborn little friends’ on behalf of whom I am racing,” said Vallette.

Not only has he received emotional support from his friends and family in his racing ventures, Vallette said he has received financial contributions to defray the cost of the custom paint job, tech support and preparation of his bike for each race from GP Bikes, Inc., of Melbourne.

His racing attire features the names of local business and family sponsors, many of whose premature babies were touched by Dr. Valette’s expert and compassionate care. He considers his sponsors, to which her refers as the “Space Coast Team March of Dimes,” to be a very important element in his racing effort and March of Dimes promotion.

SERIOUS COMPETITOR

With just three races left in the season, Vallette is currently seeded in first place in the amateur middleweight 40 and up division, and fourth in the amateur middleweight superbike class.

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Dr. Julio Vallette’s wife, Susan, was the chairwoman for the 2013 Health First Ball committee, one of the area’s signature philanthropic events every year. (Image for SpaceCoastDaily.com)

“I am 100 points ahead of my closest competitor in the middleweight 40 contest, and hoping to hold onto that lead for the duration.”

“For me, motorcycle racing is something that keeps my mind sharp. It is my passion, and I love the challenge this sport offers,” he said of the fast-paced sport.

Though he admits what he does can be dangerous, especially when traveling at speeds up to 184 mph around the track, he concentrates on staying calm while racing, which is an attribute he believes compliments his work in the often high stress environment of the neonatal ICU.

“My goal is to continue to bring exposure to the March of Dimes’ mission, and representing the foundation in this way is both a great honor and pleasure for me—one I hope to be able to do for many years to come.”

“I have to stay calm and focused so that I can react quickly.”

Vallette, who has been a physician with Pediatric Medical Group at Holmes for the past 20 years, noted that many of his colleagues have expressed their admiration for his efforts both on the track and for the March of Dimes cause.

“Though many of the nurses I work with have said I am crazy to do what I do, they are all supportive of my efforts and have even asked to have their names on my racing suit as a sponsor for this cause.”

Referring to the vision he has for his racing avocation, he said, “My goal is to continue to bring exposure to the March of Dimes’ mission, and representing the foundation in this way is both a great honor and pleasure for me—one I hope to be able to do for many years to come.”


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