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Award winners show commitment to community
e-Reports, Sept. 22, 2014
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Judge David Certo

Marion County Superior Court Judge David Certo was presented the Patient Health Advocate Award Sept. 7 during the ISMA annual convention in Indianapolis.

Judge Certo was recognized for his advocacy in helping non-violent offenders with mental health issues.

In his court, Judge Certo works to reduce relapse rates by utilizing Midtown Community Mental Health therapists, case managers and social services. He also helps offenders find food, clothing and jobs. As a result, only 10 percent are sent to jail.

In an interview with the Indianapolis Star, Judge Certo said, “If I can take people out of the system and get them on the straight path, we’ve allocated our resources better.”

According to John Wernert, M.D., and Jeffrey Kellams, M.D., who nominated him, Judge Certo has transformed an adversarial court to one that prioritizes a patient’s mental health and recovery.

The Patient Health Advocate Award is presented each year to a non-physician who has made great contributions to the health and well-being of Hoosier patients.



Physician Community Service Award winner Steven Isenberg, M.D. (center), poses with medical students Thomas Jetmore (left) and Ben Jansen (right).

Commended for his passion to encourage patients who struggle with illnesses, Steven Isenberg, M.D., was chosen to receive the ISMA Physician Community Service Award. The otolaryngologist was honored Sept. 7 during the ISMA’s annual convention.

An avid marathon runner, Dr. Isenberg saw that many of his patients who struggled with illnesses were running a more difficult marathon. So in 2005, he founded Medals4Mettle in which marathon finishers donated their medals to sick and disabled patients, recognizing that they demonstrated similar mettle or courage.

Today, Medals4Mettle has more than 70 chapters and works with more than 80 hospitals worldwide.

Janet Striebel, who nominated Dr. Isenberg, wrote:

"This simple act of kindness of making those who are feeling the least fortunate and hopeless to suddenly feel uplifted, worthy and honored in receiving a medal for their mettle represents a beautiful gift with the human spirit. Medals4Mettle makes it possible for thousands to pay it forward – connecting age, religion, gender, race, nationality and other differences that tend to separate human beings."

The annual award honors an Indiana physician who has made outstanding civic, cultural, social or economic contributions to the community.

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