The Good Health Clinic is excited to announce this year’s 2020 Big Kahuna contestants. Every year, the clinic selects exceptional individuals from a pool of nominees in Monroe County to compete and raise funds while spreading the word about Good Health Clinic services.
“Through these individuals’ amazing efforts, the clinic is able to raise needed funding and spread the word about our services so Keys residents know we’re here to help them,” said Kate Banick, the clinic’s executive director.
The contest runs through April 29, and the Big Kahuna winner will be announced at the ninth annual Luau for Health fundraiser at the Islander Resort on May 2.
Orthopedic surgeon, Mariners Hospital
Dr. Derek Papp moved to Key Largo after Hurricane Irma and immediately fell in love with the community. He’s an orthopedic surgeon who attended Johns Hopkins for medical school and residency, and completed a sports medicine fellowship with his current partners at Doctors Hospital in Coral Gables.
He also works as a team physician/consultant for the Baltimore Orioles and spends much of his free time helping the team out wherever asked — and he traveled to Korea and Mexico as a MLB physician during the World Baseball Classic. Papp recently organized an international conference for orthopedic surgeons in Antarctica.
“The Good Health Clinic provides an important and amazing service to the Keys community,” Papp said. “They’re easily some of my favorite and most thankful patients. It’s an honor to be asked to help this year and it was very easy to say ‘yes!’”
Henriquez has been at the tax collector’s office serving Monroe County for 31 years, and 20 years as Monroe County tax collector. She has seven offices throughout the Keys. She has been married for 37 years and has two adult children, Ralph and Ashley.
“I am running to be crowned as the next ‘Big Kahuna’ because the Good Health Clinic provides health services to low-income and uninsured residents in the Keys, and this is a charity that greatly benefits our community,” she said. “I am honored to be asked to be a part of this event.”
Menendez and his wife are proud residents of Key Largo. Henry is an active member of the Keys community. He is known for his exceptional work coordinating the the Key Largo Bridge Run and as an active and generous member of the Key Largo Rotary Club and the Key Largo Chamber of Commerce, where he sits on the board.
Vandiver has been living in the Keys and working in the restaurant and bar business for 24 years. About two years ago, he started working with Breakthru Beverage Group as their hotel & restaurant wine and spirits sales consultant. In his down time, he enjoys sailing and traveling with his beautiful wife and two daughters.
McCarthy serves as editor of the Upper Keys Weekly in Tavernier. He quickly became immersed in the community following his arrival to the Keys over a year and a half ago. When he catches a break from the interviewing and storytelling, he’s busy serving as secretary and public relations chair of the Rotary Club of Key Largo Sunset. He’s also a member of Leadership Monroe Class XXVIII.
He’s full of energy and enthusiasm, and he’s looking forward to fundraising with the other competitors.
“I’m elated to be a Kahuna candidate and look forward to the fundraising challenge. Since Day 1, I’ve witnessed just how special this community is and the many people who step up to support the cause. I look forward to raising funds to support Good Health Clinic’s mission.”
Gahagen has called Key Largo home for 33 years with her husband, Patrick, and two children, Molly and Dane. She describes Key Largo as an incredibly compassionate, caring and giving community that never ceases to amaze.
“I am honored to run for the ‘Big Kahuna’ and take the challenge of raising money for an organization that offers so much help to those in our community who cannot afford the medical attention they desperately need. I ask that you help me in helping others and thank you all ahead of time for anything you are able to provide for The Good Health Clinic.”