Pulaski, VA, March, 2015 – LewisGale Hospital Pulaski recently honored an employee, volunteer and a physician with its prestigious 2014 Frist Humanitarian Award – the highest honor a person can receive at an HCA facility, the parent company of LewisGale Regional Health System.

At a special recognition ceremony held recently, the Hospital presented the awards to Alex Fernandez, 2014 Frist Humanitarian Employee Award; Mollie Hedge, 2014 Frist Humanitarian Volunteer Award, and Dr. John Knarr, 2014 Frist Humanitarian Physician Award.

“These three Frist Award Winners exemplify what it means to give selflessly to someone in need, helping ease their pain and concerns, and improving their quality of life on a daily basis,” said Derek Vance, CEO of LewisGale Hospital Pulaski. “They give – tirelessly, consistently, and unselfishly – and are leaders and role models at work and in their communities, embodying the commitment our Hospital has to delivering quality, compassionate care to patients.”

Created in 1971, the Frist Humanitarian Awards are awarded annually at HCA-affiliated hospitals to an employee, volunteer, and physician who demonstrate extraordinary concern for the welfare and happiness of patients and their communities. The winners from each hospital also have an opportunity to win the national Frist Humanitarian Award.

At the awards ceremony, Fernandez, Hedge and Knarr were recognized individually for their significant efforts, as were the other nominees.

Alex Fernandez is a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist and member of the Surgical Services Team at LewisGale Hospital Pulaski for the past 6 years, where he is described as providing exceptional care and compassion to every patient. That commitment to quality patient care at the Hospital is matched only by his dedication to the people of the Philippines, where he was born. Alex established an annual scholarship program that awards a scholarship to the top five ranked Filipino nursing students. To date, he has helped more than 32 nurses further their medical careers. He also returns annually to the Philippines to participate in a two-week medical mission.

Mollie Hedge is an eight-year volunteer in the Hospital’s outpatient registration area and before that she volunteered on the Medical-Surgical unit for several years. In nominating her, fellow co-workers say her positive attitude is contagious and that she has left an imprint on everyone who has been fortunate enough to work with her over the years. She consistently goes above and beyond what is asked of her, and always does so with a smile as she helps care for patients and converses with them and their families. Outside of the Hospital she is also very active, volunteering her skills and time with numerous community organizations.

Whether inside the Hospital or out in the community, Dr. John Knarr is committed to helping patients in need of medical care and providing them with the highest levels of quality care. As a board member of the Free Clinic, and a provider, he works tirelessly to further that organization’s mission to help ensure that community members have access to medical care. He was also instrumental recently in having additional shifts added to the Clinic’s schedule in order to benefit patients.

pulaski frist award 2014