Fort Walton Beach, Fl — Fort Walton Beach Medical Center recently announced the recipients of its 2016 HCA Awards of Distinction. The winners of the Frist Humanitarian Awards, which recognize one physician, one employee and one volunteer who each demonstrate extraordinary concern for the welfare and happiness of patients and their community, are Dr. Eric Sandwith, Gerladine Lewis, and Mary Ann Roberts. The honorees of the Excellence in Nursing Award, celebrating the extraordinary clinical and compassionate care delivered by nurses every day, is Betty Carswell. The HCA Awards of Distinction is the highest honor a physician, employee, volunteer, and a nurse can receive.

"Fort Walton Beach Medical Center is dedicated to providing the highest quality patient care, and each of these individuals is being honored because of their ongoing commitment to fulfilling this mission," said Mitch Mongell, CEO of Fort Walton Beach Medical Center. "We are grateful to work alongside these awardees, knowing that our community is growing stronger every day because of the contributions of such passionate individuals."

About the Winners: Frist Awards

The First Humanitarian Awards are given annually in recognition of the humanitarian spirit and philanthropic work of the late Dr. Thomas Fr. Frist, Sr., a founder of HCA.

Geraldine Lewis, 2016 Employee Frist Humanitarian Award Winner. Geraldine is often known as one of the sweetest and most genuine member of the FWBMC team. She always has a bright, shining smile and a kind word to say to her patients, families and coworkers. She is one of the unit’s youngest preceptors and charge nurses, but takes on the responsibility of someone with many years of experience. Her leaders can rely on her in any situation from helping out on the busiest of days and being a true Nurse Leader. She shows pride in her work and even volunteers on her days off to do flu shots and to come in and help new hires. When the Joint Commission came to FWBMC this past year and went to her unit, the officer chose her to ask questions to and to go over charts. Without skipping a beat, she put on her brightest smile, shook his hand and introduced herself. When asked how many years of service she had, she looked up and said “less than a year, but I’m learning a lot!” The Joint Commission Officer talked to her about several different policies and procedures, nursing situations and she was spot on with all of the correct answers. Not only is Geraldine a huge asset to FWBMC as a Charge Nurse, a team leader, preceptor and mentor, she shows leadership every day in her dedication to her peers by giving a helping hand and going the extra mile.