At Innovation Health we’re proud to recognize the heroes in our community through the Innovation Health Hometown Hero Awards. We launched this award program to honor community members making a difference in our area. As a local company, we know the value of being involved in the community. For instance, through events with local schools and organizations, our employees see first-hand the impact we can have by investing in others.

Nominations came in from all over Fredericksburg, Northern Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley for teachers, medical professionals, volunteers and more. We were truly moved by the heartfelt submissions and incredible work being done to improve lives in our area. After reviewing the incredible nominations our consultant/broker customers selected three winners, one each from Fredericksburg, Northern Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley. The three winners for this year’s Hometown Hero Awards share our beliefs about giving back and have gone above and beyond for their local communities.

Northern Virginia Hero – Ann Matikan

Living in Old Town Alexandria, Ann takes pride in her historic neighborhood and goes out of her way to share her love of the area with all of her neighbors, including the Alive! House. The Alive! House is Ann’s next door neighbor and helps young women and their family’s transition out of homelessness. Over the past 20 years Ann has grown what started as a simple yard sale at her house into a community wide event that this year closed down an entire block because so many others wanted to join in the effort to support this great cause. Ann continues to make her community a better place through her dedication and hard work.

Fredericksburg Hero – Ron Branscome

Ron has been making a difference in the Fredericksburg area for over 40 years, as his nominator put it “Ron led the local area out of darkness and into the light.” Throughout that time he’s helped the community make incredible strides forward in understanding and improving the lives of community members with mental disabilities. As the executive director for the Rappahannock Community Services Board Ron helps over 15,000 citizens through clinics, crisis services, transportation and more and has let his passion leave a lasting positive impact on the Fredericksburg area.

Shenandoah Valley Hero – Brigitte Dehaven

Brigitte received not one but two nominations for the work she does every day with students in the Shenandoah Valley. Whether it’s encouraging students through music or pushing them in their writing Brigitte’s love for teaching shines through and makes her stand out to her students and parents alike in the classroom and in the community. As a passionate educator Brigitte inspires students in the Shenandoah Valley by putting a personal touch on everything she teaches.

It was truly inspiring to see the outpouring of nominations this year, thank you again for everyone who submitted a hero for consideration.

About Innovation Health
Innovation Health provides health benefit plans to more than 190,000 members. The product of a unique Aetna and Inova Health System  partnership, Innovation Health began offering health benefit plans in October of 2013 as a new way to deliver and finance more affordable, quality health care for employers and individuals in Northern Virginia. Through our integrated care model, Innovation Health combines a premier health plan, health system, and physicians for improved health outcomes and cost savings. For more information on Innovation Health, our plans and how we can help you, visit our website.