8th Annual LSU Health Sciences Foundation signature event celebrates community heroes

An Evening for Healers Benefiting LSU Health Shreveport Set for May 3

8th Annual LSU Health Sciences Foundation Signature Event Celebrates Community Heroes

SHREVEPORT – When the lives of two young Shreveport residents changed in an instant, LSU Health Shreveport faculty answered the call to help save them. An Evening for Healers, hosted by the LSU Health Sciences Shreveport Foundation, will take place on May 3 at the Shreveport Convention Center. The event will honor the faculty physicians, allied health professionals, residents, fellows, students, healthcare professionals and first responders who help save lives every day.

An Evening for Healers supports LSU Health Shreveport and funds the most critical needs of the Health Sciences Center, making it possible to continue the mission of educating tomorrow’s healthcare professionals, delivering outstanding patient care, and conducting promising research. LSU Health Shreveport is an invaluable resource in our community with an impact that reaches far beyond the state of Louisiana. With recent uncertainty surrounding the state budget and budget cuts, community support and external funding is imperative to continued success.

The presenting sponsor of An Evening for Healers is Ochsner Health System. This year’s event is chaired by Drs. David and Carol Clemons, both alumni of LSU Health Shreveport.

“We are thrilled and proud to participate in this wonderful event to benefit LSU Health Shreveport, and to celebrate our healers,” said Drs. David and Carol Clemons.

Each year, An Evening for Healers highlights the stories of two patients who survived the unimaginable. Attendees will hear more about Samantha “JoJo” Sims and Juan Zuniga at the event on May 3, where videos highlighting some of those involved in their care will premiere.

Samantha “JoJo” Sims had just celebrated her 21st birthday when she started experiencing a loss of feeling from the waist down after receiving a spinal tap to rule out a possible case of meningitis. Thinking that she might never walk on her own unassisted again, a chance conversation led JoJo to the School of Allied Health Professions Rehabilitation Clinic with the hope of one day walking again.

Juan Zuniga and his mom, Enedina, were closing up their family’s local restaurant for the evening. A normal end-of-the-day routine turned tragic when Juan was shot twice in the chest while trying to protect his mom from two armed robbers. He was rushed to University Health where LSU Health Shreveport doctors began work immediately to save his life.

In addition to recognizing these patients and their healers, Steve Scalise, Representative for Louisiana's 1st congressional district and United States House of Representatives Majority Whip, and a trauma survivor himself, will be the honored guest at this year’s event.

“I look forward to joining the LSU Health Sciences Foundation in honoring first responders at the Evening for Healers. I would not be here today if it were not for people like Brad Wenstrup, trained in emergency medicine, and the first responders who were able to get me to the trauma center at MedStar Hospital so quickly. You never know when you will need these heroes’ life-saving care or the use of a Level 1 trauma center like we have in Shreveport. I will be forever grateful for those who worked to save my life last summer and I look forward to honoring others who have done the same for many fellow Louisianans,” said Congressman Scalise.

Individual tickets and sponsorships are available at www.lsuhsfoundation.org/healers. Reserving your spot early is encouraged as An Evening for Healers is expected to sell out. For more information, contact Lindsay Brown at lbrown@lsuhsfoundation.org or Mary Cobb at mcobb@lsuhsfoundation.org, or call (318) 861-0855.

Photos are available upon request.