Judy Baker, of the Mogollon Health Alliance, won the second annual Health Care Leadership Award sponsored by Arizona Business magazine.
Baker was among three finalists up for the award, which recognizes individuals who have made strides in helping Arizonans receive better health care. The award was presented Wednesday evening at the Ritz-Carlton in Phoenix.
Baker has been the CEO and executive director of the Mogollon Health Alliance since 2001. Since her start with the health alliance, Baker has worked countless hours to bring new programs to the community and worked on dozens of community boards, her award nomination papers said.
“I can’t think of a better person to receive a community service award than Judy Baker. She should be recognized. She works very hard for her community every day, many times ignoring her own needs — like sleep,” said Jayne Peace-Pyle.
Some of the missions of the health alliance and of Baker are to assess the educational needs for health in the Rim Country and establish programs and further provide scholarships to students pursuing health-related careers.
Baker manages the Gracie Lee Haught Memorial Fund, which is responsible for setting up a medical training facility that educates nurses and medical students in the area. She recently received a grant to provide health care access to rural and tribal women throughout the state.
In January 2008, Baker along with the Rim Country Health and Retirement Community, worked tirelessly to open a DaVita dialysis center in Payson.
The dialysis center is the first one in Rim Country and cuts the two-hour drive time many seniors were forced to make to the nearest center.
“She is always reaching out to help people in need. She often appears in the newspapers for her work, but many times her acts of loving kindness go unnoticed. She is just a great person with a big heart,” Peace-Pyle said.