M. John Heydel Selected As The Recipient Of The 2018 Healthy Learners Champion For Children Award

COLUMBIA – Healthy Learners today announced M. John Heydel as the recipient of the 2018 Healthy Learners Champion for Children Award.

The Healthy Learners Champion for Children Award recognizes and honors an individual who has served as an advocate for children and brought attention to the needs of underserved children in the community through his volunteer time, financial support and commitment to Healthy Learners.

M. John Heydel was one of the visionaries behind the establishment of Healthy Learners in 1992. Mr. Heydel has demonstrated his long-term commitment to increasing access to health care for children, performed significant actions that have led to long-lasting positive impact and advanced the mission of Healthy Learners through his personal commitment of time, talent, financial resources and service.

Awarded by Healthy Learners and the Healthy Learners Board of Trustees, the award will be presented to Heydel during the 19th Annual Healthy Learners Champions for Children Golf Tournament in Memory of George Younginer on Wednesday, October 24, 2018 at the Fort Jackson Golf Club in Columbia, SC.

Heydel, former President and CEO of Providence Hospitals and Self Regional Hospital where he served until retirement, has been involved with Healthy Learners for 26 years and continues to this day.

John has more than 35 years of experience in health care and holds a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern State University and an MBA from Louisiana Tech University. He has served on and chaired several boards to include the Healthy Learners Board of Trustees, South Carolina Hospital Association, Palmetto Health Trust Service and Rotary Club of Greenwood past president, as well as President Emeritus of Self Regional Healthcare and Countybank Trustee Emeritus. Heydel and his wife, Drenda reside in Greenwood.

“The leadership John provides to Healthy Learners is unmatched. He is the true definition of a servant leader. His selfless acts of kindness and support for the children and families we serve is a testimony to the person he is,” said Jo Pauling-Jones, executive director of Healthy Learners. “He has a big heart and would prefer to serve behind the scenes, but Healthy Learners would not have positively impacted the lives of 14,238 children we’ve served without John. I am truly honored to see him receive the Champion for Children award this year.”

“I have been honored to be involved with Healthy Learners from the very beginning and appreciate whatever contributions I can make to supporting the mission of Healthy Learners. The real recognition belongs to the children we serve and the health care providers who work so hard in helping children get the attention and support they need to enjoy a healthy, productive life,” said Heydel.

Healthy Learners is a faith-based non-profit that connects children to care so that poor health is not an obstacle to doing well in school. The organization addresses poverty at its root, so that future generations can lift themselves, and their communities, to a better life.

Registration for the Healthy Learners Champion for Children Golf Tournament in Memory of George Younginer begins at 10:00 a.m. followed by a 12:00 Noon shotgun start. The day will

conclude with dinner and entertainment, announcement of winners and the awarding of prizes. Please join us for an exciting day of golf and fun benefitting the children served by Healthy Learners.

For registration and general tournament information please contact Haley Shealy, Golf Tournament Director by telephone at 803.331.4954, via email at Haley.Shealy@healthylearners.com, or visit the Healthy Learners website at healthylearners.com.

Healthy Learners was founded in 1992 based on the belief that children learn better when they are healthy. A ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System, Healthy Learners has five programs that serve 150 schools across twelve (12) South Carolina school districts. The counties served are Allendale, Dillon, Fairfield, Georgetown, Greenwood, Lexington and Richland. For more information, see healthylearners.com.

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