VIDEO: Steve Bunker’s Legacy As Champion For Public Health Programs In Brevard Will Live On

By  //  November 1, 2016

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CENTRAL FLORIDA HUMANITARIAN AWARDS

ABOVE VIDEO:  Steve Bunker was a big man – not just his physical size, but also his intellect, his compassion for others and his energy and focus on getting things done.

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BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Steve Bunker was a big man – not just his physical size, but also his intellect, his compassion for others and his energy and focus on getting things done.

Unfortunately, Steve passed away in May of this year, but his legacy as a champion for so many public health programs in Brevard County will live on.

Bunker began his career at Holmes Regional Medical Center (HRMC) in 1981 as a respiratory therapist. Highly respected by his coworkers in respiratory therapy and the medical staff for his affable personality, clinical skills and knowledge, and leadership ability, he was promoted to positions as department manager and vice president of operations as opportunities arose.

Ultimately Bunker became HRMC’s Chief Operating Officer, and when Health First was created in 1995, he succeeded co-founder and retired Chief Executive Officer of Health First Mike Means as president of HRMC, a position he held until 2001.

Reflecting on Bunker’s attitude and approach to his job and altruistic interests, Means said, “The best way I can describe Steve Bunker is selfless, but tough when it was necessary to ‘Do the Right Thing’ and compassionate when needs were real and could be addressed.”

Along with Means, Bunker was instrumental in bringing together community partners to address the needs of Brevard’s medically underserved and act on the vision and common goal to provide family support, education, preventive care and free medical care.

Through their leadership, the Health, Outreach, Prevention & Education (HOPE) program began providing services in 1991 from a doublewide trailer in Melbourne’s University Park.

The American Hospital Association later recognized HOPE when it received the organization’s prestigious NOVA Award in 1996. In 2005 HOPE evolved into what is now the Brevard Health Alliance, which has provided medical services to more than 88,900 Brevardians since then.

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Steve Bunker was a big man – not just his physical size, but also his intellect, his compassion for others and his energy and focus on getting things done.

FOCUS ON PUBLIC HEALTH

Bunker’s focus on public health and passion for helping people stay healthy extended throughout his life.

In 2014, Bunker was honored by the Florida Department of Health in Brevard County with the Public Health Hero award, celebrating his lifetime achievements as an ardent advocate of healthcare programs that address the needs of the medically underserved.

At the time of Bunker’s Public Health Hero recognition, Dr. Dr. Heidar Heshmati, previous Director of the Department of Health in Brevard County, said “His devotion to the causes of women and children is unparalleled in Brevard County.

Steve Bunker has demonstrated extraordinary vision and leadership, making a positive impact on the patient’s outcome regardless of the healthcare setting.”

There are many significant public health and humanitarian contributions in which Bunker played a vital role.

He was responsible for bringing the air ambulance First Flight to Brevard, providing a critical first responder, life-saving service to the seriously injured.

He worked in partnership with the health department for the Colonoscopy Clinic by providing funding for equipment and financial aid to hire an OB/GYN physician to head women’s health and a program that has reduced the incidence of advanced cervical cancer in Brevard.

The nationwide school health model practice program was created through Bunker’s leadership in partnership with the school board, health department and the community hospitals.

He was also instrumental in providing prenatal care for every pregnant woman in Brevard County—another nationwide model practice maternity program.

2016 Humanitarians To Be Honored Tonight At Gala Event In MelbourneRelated Story:
2016 Humanitarians To Be Honored Tonight At Gala Event In Melbourne

Other programs that Bunker contributed to are the Space Coast Early Intervention Program and the Brevard Women’s Center.

Bunker’s work on local legislative needs kept him in touch with elected officials and he was very effective in getting additional support when Brevard County needed it most.

While he received many honors for improving public health in Brevard County, he was particularly proud to be presented with the Heartland Award by Governor Lawton Chiles in recognition of the difference he made in the quality of life in the community.

FOR MORE INFORMATION or to make a reservation to attend the Central Florida Humanitarian Awards Gala call 321-323-4460 or 321-615-8111 or e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com

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The 2016 Central Florida Humanitarians have been announced and include outstanding individuals and organizations from the medical, business, education and governmental communities. Also announced today was the honoree for the Lifetime Achievement.

The 2016 Central Florida Humanitarians have been announced and include outstanding individuals and organizations from the medical, business, education and governmental communities. Also announced today was the honoree for the Lifetime Achievement.

Recognizing Outstanding Individuals & Organizations Who Dedicate Their Time, Talent and Treasure

CENTRAL FLORIDA, USA – The 2016 Central Florida Humanitarians have been announced and include outstanding individuals and organizations from the medical, business, education and governmental communities. 

Also announced today was the honoree for the Lifetime Achievement. Information about the hospital and hospice volunteers will be released Oct. 1.

The Central Florida Humanitarian honorees will be recognized during a Gala event on Thursday, Nov. 3, at the Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place in Melbourne, Florida.

The Central Florida Humanitarian Awards were created seven years ago by Space Coast Daily to recognize outstanding individuals and organizations that dedicate their time, talent or treasure to help people in need locally – and around the world.

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The 2016 Central Florida Humanitarians have been announced and include outstanding individuals and organizations from the medical, business, education and governmental communities. All Humanitarian alumni are presented a specially commissioned medallion.

TIME: In this category consider candidates who have selflessly and consistently devoted their time as volunteers at hospitals and nursing homes, in activities for the less fortunate and as organizers, administrators or operatives in the many other altruistic endeavors in our community.
TALENT: In this category give consideration to those who have volunteered their special talents and expertise to address specific circumstances in which the lives of those in need are improved.
TREASURE: The humanitarians in this category will include those who have generously shared their monetary good fortune and/or volunteered their time and efforts in fund raising for the advancement of a philanthropic cause.

All 2016 honorees will be featured in the Oct/Nov 2016 edition of Space Coast Daily magazine and online at SpaceCoastDaily.com.  The magazine will be available the first week of October in both print and digital editions, which will also be available on SpaceCoastDaily.com.

humanitrians-sponsors-330-1ORGANIZATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS SELECTED TO BE HONORED INCLUDE:

• 211 Brevard
• Advocates For Aging
• Rusty Buchanan
• Steve Bunker
• Cape Canaveral Ladies
• Stop the Bleed Team
• Junior League of South Brevard
• Space Coast Iceplex Disabled Sled Hockey
• AJ Hiers
• Sharon James
• Keep Brevard Beautiful
• Diane Killpartrick
• Janet Marks
• Paws and Stripes College
• Port Canaveral Commission
• Col. Danny McKnight
• Rolling Readers Space Coast
• Leo Roselip
• Space Coast Health Foundation
• Space Coast Paratroopers
• Central Florida Animal Refuge
• BCSO Chief Deputy Doug Waller
• Jarvis Wash
• Dr. Carlos Woodward
• The 2016 Central Florida Humanitarian Lifetime Achievement honoree is Bernie Simpkins.

HONORING SELFLESS VOLUNTEERISM

As always, the Central Florida Humanitarian committee will also honor hospital and hospice volunteers from Health First Hospice, the Dr. Jey Pillai Center for Hospice Care at Wasdin Woods, VITAS, Hospice of St. Francis, Health First Cape Canaveral Hospital, Health First Viera Hospital, Health First Holmes Regional Medical Center, Health First Palm Bay Hospital, Wuesthoff Medical Center – Melbourne, Wuesthoff Medical Center – Rockledge, the VA Clinic in Viera, and Sebastian River Medical Center. 

Dr. Jim Palermo

Dr. Jim Palermo

“Over the years, our editorial team has had the distinct honor and pleasure of identifying and featuring the many members of our community who give back so much and are dedicated to reaching out and helping others, here and throughout the world, in a multitude of ways,” said Space Coast Daily Editor-In-Chief Dr. Jim Palermo.

“For the seventh consecutive year, we will once again produce the Central Florida Humanitarian Awards Gala on the first Thursday of November. This year, more than 30 deserving humanitarians will be honored during the Gala.”

The Central Florida Humanitarian Awards will be part of Space Coast Medicine Week, a comprehensive series of health and educational events produced by Space Coast Daily.

JOIN US FOR AN INSPIRATIONAL EVENING

This inspiring and compelling event is sponsored by Parrish Medical Center, SOAR, BioCellular Therapies, Brighthouse Networks, First Choice Medical Group, Clear Choice Health Care, Community Credit Union, Lake Nona Medical Arts, Brevard Geriatrics, Knudson Brain & Spine Law Injury Office, Dr. Mark Pinsky, Space Coast Daily magazine and SpaceCoastDaily.com. Each honoree or organization will be presented the Central Florida Humanitarian Crystal Globe.

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Giles Malone

“We would like to thank our long list of sponsors who support the Central Florida Humanitarian Awards and who make this wonderful event possible,” said Giles Malone, a partner with Space Coast Daily and Brevard Productions, who annually produce all the events of Space Coast Medicine Week.

COMPELLING MULTIMEDIA TRIBUTE VIDEOS & STORIES

Stay tuned to Space Coast Daily magazine and SpaceCoastDaily.com for exclusive and comprehensive multimedia coverage of each honoree as we present their compelling stories.

Tom Palermo

Tom Palermo

“Please join us on Thursday, Nov. 3 to celebrate and be inspired by these incredible individuals and groups,” said Space Coast Daily President & Publisher Tom Palermo. 

“In the meantime, please click the link below that showcases the distinguished Central Florida Humanitarian Alumni.”

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE CENTRAL FLORIDA HUMANITARIAN ALUMNI

FOR MORE INFORMATION or to make a reservation to attend the Central Florida Humanitarian Awards Gala call 321-323-4460 or 321-615-8111 or e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com

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ABOVE MAP: The 2016 Central Florida Humanitarian Awards will take place Thursday, Nov. 3 at the Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place, located at 200 Rialto Place in Melbourne, Florida.


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