Introducing the 2022 Be Well Philly Health Hero

We celebrated this year's winner and two runners-up at Penn Museum.

A look at the 2022 Be Well Philly Health Hero Challenge reception. / All photos by Theresa Regan

After thousands of votes came in for the final round of this year’s Be Well Philly Health Hero Challenge presented by Independence Blue Cross, we announced the winner at Penn Museum! The December 5th event was the first time we’ve celebrated our Health Hero program in person since 2019, so it truly made for a special evening. Read about this year’s winner and finalists, and check out all the photos of the event by photographer Theresa Regan.

The 2022 challenge marks the 11th year of Health Hero, which is presented yearly by Independence Blue Cross. The program aims to recognize local medical professionals, frontline health workers, nonprofit leaders, teachers, coaches, entrepreneurs, and community activists who are working to improve health outcomes and general wellness for those living in and around Philadelphia.

At last night’s event, we heard remarks from Koleen Cavanaugh, Independence Blue Cross’s Vice President of Marketing; Katie Bruno, the publisher of Philadelphia magazine; and Laura Brzyski (me!), health and wellness editor of Philadelphia magazine.

And then, after months of anticipation, we were thrilled to finally announce the 2022 Be Well Philly Health Hero: Robin Cohen, the co-founder and CEO of the Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation!

The Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation was co-created by Cohen and Adriana D’Alessandro in honor of Sandy Rollman — who passed away from advanced ovarian cancer in 2000 — and works to support those impacted by an ovarian cancer diagnosis. In being named this year’s Health Hero, Cohen received a $15,000 donation to the foundation, her selected charity.

Our two runners-up — Elissa Darrow, director of Angels Community Outreach, and Andrea Vettori, a nurse practitioner and founder/executive director of Sanctuary Farm — were also recognized for their hard work. Both received $2,500 for their charities of choice, Angels Community Outreach and Sanctuary Farm, respectively.

Thank you to all the individuals who were nominated for this year’s Be Well Philly Health Hero Challenge presented by Independence Blue Cross, especially our 10 semi-finalists; our two runners-up, Elissa Darrow and Andrea Vettori; and our winner, Robin Cohen.

We’d also like to thank Penn Museum for hosting us, and our presenting sponsor, Independence Blue Cross, who continues to make this program happen year after year. And to our incredible Be Well Philly community, we appreciate your participation and your support of health heroes everywhere!