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Santa Monica Hospital Heroes Honored by Red Cross

By Lookout Staff

Calling them hospital heroes, the American Red Cross honored two Santa Monica hospital employees at the organization's annual Spirit Awards on March 11.

Jae Cho of St. John's Health Center and nurse Mary Krakowski of Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center were among 16 nurses and doctors from throughout Los Angeles County recognized for their work at the awards banquet at the Wilshire Grand Hotel in Los Angeles.

The hospital heroes were thanked by Emmy Award-winning medical, health and science reporter, Bruce Hensel, M.D., for their "tireless efforts to save lives and give people peace of mind."

The American Red Cross Spirit Awards was born in Santa Monica six years ago and has quickly grown to include Red Cross chapters throughout the county. Along with local heroes, the military television show "JAG" and 15-year-old AIDS activist Hydeia L. Broadbent also were honored.

"We portray military people on television, you guys are the real deal," "JAG" star David James Elliott said. "I would like to applaud you."

The television series is filmed at the American Red Cross, San Gabriel Valley chapter, which has come as a surprise to many viewers who have traveled to Falls Church, Virginia in search of the JAG headquarters.

"This is the first time a landlord has honored a tenant with an award," joked "JAG" creator and executive producer Donald P. Bellisario.

AIDS activist Hydeia L. Broadbent was honored with the Red Cross Humanitarian Award. The 15-year-old was born HIV-positive, having contracted the virus from her birth mother. For most of her life Hydeia has educated young people about the effects of HIV and AIDS through public speaking and outreach from the Hydeia L. Broadbent Foundation.

"I want people to know [about AIDS]," Broadbent said. "Especially children because they are our future."

The sixth annual American Red Cross Spirit Awards also featured a silent auction and a performance by the band The Drifters, famous for their song "Under the Boardwalk."

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