Longtime volunteers Kathy Corbalis and Bradford Wilkinson, MD, have been named this year’s “Heart of Malta” honorees, in recognition of their extraordinary efforts as non-medical and medical volunteers, respectively. It is the highest honor a Malta supporter can receive.
Corbalis, a resident of West Hartford, has served as a non-medical volunteer for Malta since 2011, following her retirement as a project manager at The Hartford.
“Kathy has poured her heart and soul into Malta, so it was no surprise that she was a unanimous choice for this award,” said Malta Executive Director Michelle M. Murphy. “She volunteers an average of 20 hours per week, helping with all the big and little office tasks that make non-profits hum – and she does it all with a million-dollar smile. We would be lost without her!”
“To say that I am shocked and thrilled (by this award) is indeed an understatement,” Corbalis said. “Malta House of Care is a very special place, and I am pleased to work alongside such talented and caring staff and volunteers.”
Dr. Wilkinson began volunteering for Malta one day per week in 2006, while he was still running a family practice in Durham; after he retired in 2012, he stepped that up to three days per week. And now, two years after he moved to Wellesley, MA, he still comes back to Hartford two days per month to volunteer for Malta.
“Working at the Malta House of Care Mobile Medical Clinic is the most rewarding thing I have done in 35+ years of practicing medicine,” Dr, Wilkinson said. “Seeing the collective happiness, relief, and gratitude on the faces of thousands of patients I have attended when they realize that finally they have found a place where they are not scorned or ignored but rather treated with dignity, warmth, and concern is a magical experience.
“And, to work shoulder-to-shoulder with, and be inspired by, dozens of like-minded volunteer professionals who so freely give of their time, expertise, and humanity is an inexpressible joy,” he added.
“Brad exudes a commitment to Malta in every single thing he says and does,” said Peter G. Kelly, Sr., Chairman of Malta’s Development Committee. “Whether he is treating patients, mentoring medical students and residents, or encouraging other Malta volunteers, he does so with compassion and respect and an utter joy in the beauty of each person he meets.
“We can’t begin to count the number of hours he’s given to our people and our mission,” Kelly continued. “He is a treasure.”
The “Heart of Malta” awards were established three years ago to honor members of the Malta family who embody the values at the heart of the Malta mission and passionately demonstrate a commitment to its goals.
Bob Voight, Malta’s Board Chair and de facto CEO, received the inaugural Heart of Malta award in 2018.
In 2019, the award was given to the parishioners of St. Catherine of Siena Church in West Simsbury and their charismatic pastor, Rev. Michael Whyte, for their constant support and boundless collective generosity to Malta.
In a departure from the past, the 2020 awards were presented at an extremely small, COVID-safe gathering outside the Malta van during its regular Tuesday Clinic hours at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford. Previously, the awards were given during the annual “Heart of Malta Benefactor Reception” held in the late Fall.