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Oswego Health’s fourth annual gala raises more than $149,000 to support local healthcare; local community leaders recognized

The fourth annual Oswego Health Foundation Gala, which was themed “A heartwarming night of elegance and inspiration” was nothing shy of amazing.

This sold-out event, which was hosted at Colloca Estate Winery, had 291 guests in attendance and raised more than $149,000 on Nov. 11 to support local healthcare and the newly created Oswego Health Foundation Endowment Fund.

During the program, Oswego Health presented three prestigious awards including Community Partner, Physician of the Year and Nurse of the Year.

The 2023 Community Partner Award was presented to ConnextCare. For more than 50 years, ConnextCare has been providing a family-oriented healthcare practice for Oswego and surrounding county residents. They offer a variety of comprehensive health care services in a timely and efficient manner, all provided by their courteous and professional staff. The center is operated by a private, partially federally funded non-profit organization governed by a volunteer board of directors.

ConnextCare operates health centers in Fulton, Mexico, Oswego, Parish, Phoenix and Pulaski. It also operates six school-based health centers located in APW, Mexico, Pulaski and Sandy Creek school districts.

ConnextCare values its patients and their privacy and recognizes the costs attributed to health care services. Most medical insurance plans are accepted at ConnextCare, and they offer affordable and flexible payment plans for those without health insurance. Their professional staff of physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, behavioral health specialists, dentists, hygienists, nurses and volunteers are all working together to provide comprehensive healthcare-related services.

ConnextCare’s mission is to provide comprehensive, affordable, and premier health care and support services to the communities they serve. Oswego Health is grateful for ConnextCare’s ongoing support and collaboration in keeping our community healthy.

The 2023 Physician of the Year Award was presented to doctors Elizabeth and Gary Bozeman.

Elizabeth Wagner Bozeman, a pioneer in urology, graduated from Emory University with a BA in psychobiology and completed her urology residency at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina. She has been in private practice since 1995, specializing in female urology, recurrent urinary infections, stone disease, interstitial cystitis and general urology.

Gary Douglas Bozeman, MBA, earned his Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from the University of Arkansas and his medical degree from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He completed his urology residency at the Medical University of South Carolina and later obtained an MBA from Emory University in 2009. His urological interests include female urology, benign prostate enlargement, stone disease, cancer (prostate, bladder and kidney), urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction.

Elizabeth and Gary, married in 1996, have worked together in the same urology practice. They are active members of various urological associations and have held leadership positions in these organizations. She currently serves as the president of the medical staff at Oswego Health.

The Bozemans have made a profound impact on the community, serving countless patients and families with their expertise and care.

Jody Wood received the 2023 Oswego Health Nurse of the Year Award. She joined Oswego Health in 2005 as a business services coordinator in the medical-surgical unit, where she played a pivotal role in the unit’s daily operations and collaborated on scheduling and quality initiatives with leadership. In 2009, she graduated from nursing school and transitioned to an registered nurse role in the surgical services unit, showcasing rapid growth from novice to expert in the OR and sharing her knowledge with her team.

In 2018, she assumed the position of registered nurse educator/staff development in the surgical services unit. When the surgical services director role became vacant in 2019, she stepped in as interim director, thanks to her leadership skills, deep operational knowledge and clinical expertise. She officially took on the director role in February 2020.

As OR director from early 2020, she skillfully guided the team through two pandemic-related shutdowns, successfully rebuilding the nursing team. She balanced increased volumes with an unwavering commitment to patient safety and quality, resulting in OR volumes exceeding pre-pandemic levels. Her collaboration with surgeons and their teams improved OR access, ensuring sufficient nursing staff. Her dedication to education and pursuit of advanced degrees adds to her impressive profile, along with her role as an adjunct nursing professor.

Oswego Health would like to thank the following gala committee members for their continued dedication and commitment: Darcy Antonucci, Yvette Bishoff, Kerrie Ann Brancato, Sara Broadwell, Dan Capella, Mary Ann Drumm, Ellen Holst, Hope Mazuroski, Katie O’Reilly, Carrie Penoyer – chair and Patty Reynolds.