Meet the 2014 Health Hero Challenge Semifinalists!

Drumroll, please! It is my great pleasure to officially introduce the 16 semifinalists in this year’s Health Hero Challenge, our third annual search for Philly’s Health Hero. Starting on October 7th, we’ll be opening it up to reader voting on our Facebook page, so that you can select a winner. (Note: You’ll need to like our page to vote, so go ahead and do that now.)

Here’s how the contest works: Editors at Philadelphia magazine read over 535 nominations, which detailed how folks throughout our region are helping their communities be happy and healthy. They narrowed the field to the 16 semifinalists below. Throughout October, we’ll be asking you, our readers, to vote for your favorite Health Hero on our Facebook page.

Four semifinalists will be up for voting each week as outlined below, and the winner of each week will go on to the finals in November. You’ll be able to vote once every 24 hours during the contest, so set your calendar reminders now. The winner of the Health Hero Challenge will be featured in an upcoming issue of Philadelphia magazine, and will receive a $3,000 donation in his or her name to a charity of choice.

To help get you hyped for the contest, we’ll be rolling out Q&As with each of the semifinalists this week and next, so you can learn more about what makes them champions of health and wellness in Philly.

Congrats to all our deserving challengers!

Round 1: October 7th through 13th

Katie Monroe
Founder of Women Bike PHL

David Wurtzel
Founder and executive director of The First Twenty

Dr. Ignacio Valencia
Neurologist at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, associate professor of pediatrics at Drexel University College of Medicine, and medical committee at the Epilepsy Foundation of Eastern Pennsylvania’s Camp Achieve

Allison Schwartz
Founder of GFit Women

Round 2: October 14th through 20th

Suzanne Allaire
Co-founder of November Project Philadelphia

W. Lonnie Herndon
Pastor at Compassion Ministries

Quintel Coles
Executive chef at Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School and partner with the Vetri Foundation’s Eatiquette program

Tanya Sen
Nutrition program manager at the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger and program director for the Coalition’s Green Light Pantries, a healthy food pantry program

Round 3: October 21st through 27th

Pia Martin
Health and physical education teacher at Science Leadership Academy

Cynthia Kerr
Founder of ConKerr Cancer

Dr. Raina Merchant
Assistant professor of emergency medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, director of the Penn Social Media and Health Innovation Lab, and founder of the MyHeartMap Challenge, a crowdsourcing initiative to locate defibrillators in Philadelphia

April Schetler
Registered dietician at Virtua and Facebook group coordinator for Virtua Wellness & Nutrition

Round 4: October 28th through November 3rd

Colleen McCauley
Health policy director for Public Citizens for Children and Youth

Len and Susan Lodish
Fundraisers and cyclists for ALS Association for Greater Philadelphia

Theresa Conroy
Director of Yoga on the Ridge

Dr. Patty Gerrity
Professor and associate dean for community programs at Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions and director of Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services of Drexel University, a health center in North Philly

Like what you’re reading? Stay in touch with Be Well Philly—here’s how: