Whitesboro, NY (WIBX) - Each year, The Genesis Group and The Medical Societies holding a special recognition luncheon to honor outstanding healthcare professionals from across the Mohawk Valley.

Today, eight 'excellence' awards were given to area residents to work in the healthcare field, and three people were named to the Healthcare Hall of Distinction.

2011 Outstanding Healthcare Professionals: Physician - Scott Brehaut, MD ~ Faxton St. Luke's Healthcare, Nurse - Sylvia Pescatore ~ The Arc of Oneida-Lewis Chapter, Direct Care Professional - Zeljana Habib ~ St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Behavioral Healthcare Professional - Bridget VanLieshout ~ Rome Memorial Hospital, Allied Healthcare Professional - Marc DePerno ~ Sitrin Health Care Center, Healthcare Leadership - John Bullis ~ Little Falls Hospital, Nurse Practioner - Patricia Gorman ~ Oneida Healthcare Center, Volunteer - John Weakley ~ Faxton St. Luke's Healthcare.

Healthcare Hall of Distinction ~ Class of 2011 Inductees: Angela VanDerhoof ~ Sidney Blatt, MD ~ William Krause, MD

The annual event is important because healthcare is a more than one billion dollar industry in the Mohawk Valley, employing thousands, Durso said.