UF Health Jacksonville celebrates 17th annual A Night for Heroes Gala

A group sits in a large ballroom for dinner

UF Health Jacksonville hosted its 17th annual A Night for Heroes Gala on Feb. 3, 2024, honoring the staff and first responders who are true heroes. The gala raised funds to provide state-of-the-art equipment to better serve the community, bringing awareness of the value of a Level I trauma center.

Taking place at the Hyatt Regence Jacksonville Riverfront, guests were treated to a reception, silent and live auctions, dinner and a program. Between the 600-plus guests in attendance and those in the community, UF Health Jacksonville was able to raise over $429,000, the highest grossing year in the history of A Night for Heroes.

2024 patient honoree, Henry Doliner’s story

A man stands at a podium giving a speech

Flying since 1995, Harvey Doliner, the 2024 patient honoree, alongside his wife, Amy, would frequently fly back-and-forth between Florida and New Jersey.

Then, on Nov. 13, 2022, everything changed. After making a routine landing, Doliner noticed the equipment they used to get the plane inside the hangar stopped working correctly. With another plane coming down the runway, Doliner explained what was happening to the pilot.

“I went to walk back down to our plane and obviously walked around the wing, but going straight back to our plane down the ramp, I walked through the edge of the propeller of that plane, which was spinning at a couple thousand RPMs,” Doliner recalled.

With his arm sliced opened from his shoulder to his hand, emergency crews met Doliner within minutes. A TraumaOne chopper shortly followed with a quick flight to UF Health Jacksonville’s trauma center.

“Every step of the way was so well choreographed,” Doliner said. “Most of the professionals I encountered were with me for only a few minutes, but they did their part and moved on.”

After being honored at the gala, Doliner pledged $10,000 as a sign of gratitude for all those who were, and continue to be, dedicated to his care.

Generosity in action

The above video was played at the 2024 A Night for Heroes Gala, describing the equipment donors were supporting with their gift.

Following comments from both UF Health Jacksonville CEO, Patrick Green, and Doliner, U.S. Representative Aaron Bean held a live appeal with a goal of $75,000 to purchase an Armeo Spring Pro, which is a robotic arm that will be used in rehab clinics, for the UF Health Jacksonville trauma center.

Thanks to the generosity of those in attendance, the $75,000 goal for the Armeo Spring Pro was met in under five minutes.

2024 A Night for Heroes staff and first responder honorees

The staff and first responder honorees at A Night for Heroes were all involved, in some way, with the care of Doliner. Due to their efforts and dedication, Doliner was able to keep his arm and his hand and continues to work through therapy at UF Health Jacksonville to regain function.

Jonathan Abdo – Pilot

Amanda Alexander – RN

Josephine Aquino – RN

Terrie Bass – RN

Thomas Beardsley – MD, Attending

Joshua Bedsole – EDT

Steven Clinton – EMT

Katie Cooper – OT

Katherine Coufal – Registered Dietician

Matt Edison – Paramedic

Helen Gabon – RN

Siena Garcia – CT Technologist R.T.

Michael Girard – Pastoral Care

Adam Gitllin – MD

Keisha Green – PCA

Mojibade Hassan – MD, Resident

Kelsey Hearn – PT

Jordan Hill – Paramedic

James Hodgson – RN

Nadia Iwanyshyn – PharmD

Jinous Saremian – MD

Theresa Johnson – APRN

Marc Kaye – MD

Joanna Kee-Sampson – MD, Radiologist

Myra King – Respiratory Therapist

Penny Kleinfeld – Case Manager

Sindhu Kumar – MD

Joe Lancaster – Paramedic

Alonie Little – CT Technologist R.T.

Kerri M. Lydon – MD

Catherine Mangum – MD, Resident

Loan Nguyen – CT Technologist R.T.

Kirsten O’Neil – MD

Nishal Patel – OT

Tamara Quant – RN

Thomas Rang – Medical Technologist

Edwin Rivera – PT

Jessica Robinson – Laboratory Technologist

Al Siddiqui – MD, Resident

David Skarupa – MD

James Tucker – Paramedic

Ryan Vickery – RN

Cassandra White – MD

Jacinda White – RN

Ashley Wright – RN

Rennette Zavala – MD, Resident

A Night for Heroes Council

A Night for Heroes was started in 2008 by a few dedicated volunteers with the goal of supporting the men and women at UF Health TraumaOne. Over the past 17 years, the Heroes Council has grown into a dynamic group of volunteers who give their time and energy to raising awareness and support for UF Health Jacksonville.

Event Co-Chairs: Olivia Frick and Jessica Cummings

Ann-Marie Awad, Melissa Langley Braude, Angela Campbell, Jessica Cummings, Ellie Dawson, Laura Edgecombe, Renée Farrell, Olivia Frick, Meg Heiden, Pamela Hemmen, Deborah James, Charlene Jones, Ashlea Justice, Kristen Knudsen, Lauren Lee, Lesia May, Amy Meyer, David Meysenburg, Julia Paul, Katie Pettengill, Judy Riggle, Karen Robeson, Jamie Rood, Eva Roth, Erin Scott, Denda Shields, Laura Tuck, Kellee Wip, Katy Wittman, Erin Yorkgitis

A group poses for a photo in front of a UF Health backdrop

A Night for Heroes is evolving to serve an even bigger purpose and signifies our commitment to foster a unified and supportive environment for everyone in our organization. All proceeds from the gala supports the entire organization, as well as Trauma and Critical Care. Since its inception in 2008, sponsorships and donations for A Night for Heroes have raised more than $3 million to support life-saving equipment and care at UF Health Jacksonville. Thank you to all the staff, first responders, attendees and donors for your support over the years.