Dr. Zenko Hrynkiw, an Alabama Retail Association physician member since 2002, is the 2014 Healthcare Community All Star, an annual award given by Safety National, a provider of excess workers’ compensation coverage to self-insured employers and self-insured groups nationwide. Each year, Safety National names three Community All Stars who have done something extraordinary in terms of philanthropy or acts of kindness – beyond their normal daily job requirements.
Alabama Retail Comp, the workers’ compensation fund that serves Alabama Retail members, nominated the neurosurgeon for heroic efforts he made during the debilitating snow and ice storm that took Birmingham by surprise in late January and brought much of the city to a standstill. When Hrynkiw couldn’t get there by car, he walked more than six miles through the snow and ice from Brookwood Medical Center to Trinity Medical Center to perform emergency surgery for a traumatic brain injury.
“It really wasn’t that big of a deal,” Hrynkiw told reporters the day after his hours-long trek in below 20-degree weather to save a patient. The patient lived for seven more months, only to die in early September of congestive heart failure, which was unrelated to his brain injury. The patient’s family acknowledged God and Hrynkiw for extending their loved one’s life.
Each Community All Star category winner is awarded $10,000 in the form of a scholarship endowment or donation to a 501(c)(3) charity of his or her choice. Hrynkiw asked that the donation on his behalf go to Operation Smile, which performs cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries on children.
On Dec. 22 on behalf of Safety National, Alabama Retail Comp Fund Manager Mark Young and Business Process Manager Tessa Lowery presented the check for Operation Smile at the surgeon’s Birmingham office. Alabama Retail Comp and the Alabama Retail Association commend Hrynkiw for taking extraordinary measures to serve his patients.