Umrans honored by hospital foundation for community stewardship.

August 21, 2017

Nizar and Zelal Umran

Umrans honored by hospital foundation for community stewardship.

AMBER TOWNSHIP — Dr. Nizar and Zelal Umran were honored with the Justus and Paulina Stears Legacy Award at the Spectrum Health Foundation Ludington Hospital Angel Ball Friday, August 18. The Umrans were selected by the Spectrum Health Foundation Ludington Hospital board of directors as this year’s community stewardship award recipients because of the many organizations they help to support, the fundraisers they have been part of and the generosity of giving they embody.

“We thank you for your support over all of these years,” Dr. Umran said during the Friday event. “Zelal and I are privileged and humbled to receive this award. It has been our honor to serve the community that we love so much.”

Dr. Umran, in preparation for retirement early next year, performed his final surgical procedure last week at the Ludington hospital after 41 years as a general surgeon there. “I know that when I fully retire in five months, I will leave patients in more than qualified and experienced hands,” he said about his colleagues, doctors Bret Autrey and KellyAnn Vandendool.

At the end of his speech, Dr. Umran thanked his wife, Zelal, his “pillar,” stating, “She is my angel.”

At Friday’s Angel Ball, both Dr. Bret Autrey, longtime colleague of Dr. Umran, and Judy Husted, former practice manager for Dr. Umran, spoke about his legacy as a general surgeon, a revered patient advocate, and a trusted friend. “At a retirement get-together we held for Dr. Umran last week, I was able to witness the love that so many people have for this man,” said Dr. Autrey. “He has been a mentor not only to me but to many others as well.”

Husted, who worked for Dr. Umran for 30 years, told the audience: “There are no two people more deserving for this award than Dr. Nizar and Mrs. Zelal Umran. They have worked tirelessly to help others, doing so in a ‘behind-the-scenes’ way, never wanting attention or promoting themselves. Working with Dr. Umran for so many years, I was able to witness the care he has for his patients. It didn’t matter what a patient’s status or circumstance was in life, they were all treated the same; fairly and with great compassion and empathy by Dr. Umran.”

The Justus and Paulina Stearns Legacy Award is bestowed each year to someone who demonstrates vision and drive for the betterment and health of the area. “Those honored with the Justus and Paulina Stearns Legacy Award have a demonstrated history of philanthropy and are leaders in the community,” said Kaley Petersen, foundation and community services director at Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital. “Dr. Nizar and Mrs. Zelal Umran have demonstrated time and time again their support of many area organizations, including the Ludington Hospital.”

This year’s foundation event was titled “The Angel Ball” as part of the “Be Someone’s Angel” series of events that began in early summer with a Guinness World Record for the number of people simultaneously making sand angels. The Spectrum Health Foundation Ludington Hospital, in partnership with West Shore Bank, now holds the world record. That event, as well as the benefit ball, was held to raise funds for a cancer patient assistance fund. The fund will help Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital’s Cancer & Infusion Center patients with medical bills and transportation they incur while receiving treatment.

Thus far, $176,051 has been raised for the cause, and the foundation staff plan to hold events through June, 2018 toward the fund. To donate, please call the foundation office at 231.845.2233 or visit the website at


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