Dr. Paul Sammut Honored for Cystic Fibrosis Research

Paul Sammut, M.D., Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, was among four individuals honored as "Omaha's Finest" at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's annual event Nov. 5.

Dr. Sammut has worked extensively in the areas of CF treatment and research at UNMC for the past 16 years.

More than $35,000 was raised in part by the 300 individuals who attended the dinner and auction at Champions Run, according to CFF Executive Director Shannon Lee.

"This is just another example of the tremendous outpouring of support from the community," Lee said. "Thanks to their generosity, we will continue to be able to fund extensive research right here in Omaha to find a cure."

Omaha's Finest annually honors a select number of individuals in the community who have significantly contributed to researching a cure, helping control and/or improve the quality of life for those suffering from cystic fibrosis. Past honorees have included local physicians, researchers and cystic fibrosis patients.

In addition to Dr. Sammut, who is also Director of the pediatric department at the Ambassador Subacute Care Facility in Omaha, this year's three other honorees were Grand Island business owner Brad Fossberg and Millard South student Sean Kleintobe (both cystic fibrosis patients) and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Nebraska Board President Barry Zoob. Lindsay Wadleigh, Zoob's niece who suffers from cystic fibrosis and lives in Wisconsin, made a special appearance to present the award to her uncle.

Candace Carlson, an 11-year-old who is in sixth grade at Council Bluffs Lewis Central Middle School, was the event's guest speaker. Master of ceremonies was Qwest Center Omaha Public Relations Manager Dana Dyksterhuis.

Here are brief profiles of this year's honorees: Sean Kleintobe: A sophomore at Millard South, he has been involved with the CF Foundation for more than 10 years, participating in the Phase II gene therapy trial at UNMC. He is active in miniature railroading and is a member of the Central Iowa Garden Railroad Society.

Brad Fossberg: A former radio broadcaster, Fossberg now owns "It's Just Funny Promotions," a stand-up comedy business in Grand Island. He has participated in CF clinical trials for 15 years.

Barry Zoob: Active in the Nebraska chapter of the CFF since 1979, Zoob has been the board president the last two years. He works as a Senior Advisor for Grubb & Ellis Pacific Realty.

Date Published: Tuesday, November 16, 2004