Fort Walton Beach Medical Center recently announced the recipients of its 2017 HCA Awards of Distinction. The winners of the Frist Humanitarian Awards, which recognizes one employee and one volunteer who each demonstrate extraordinary concern for the welfare and happiness of patients and their community, are Bethany Worley and Frances Catlett. The honorees of the Excellence in Nursing Award, celebrating the extraordinary clinical and compassionate care delivered by nurses every day, is Ryan Leith. 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 Winner: Excellence in Nursing Award

The HCA Excellence in Nursing Award recognizes the intrinsic value of nursing practice in accomplishing the mission of providing the highest quality of care to patients and the community, and is being given in two categories: Mentoring and Compassionate.

Ryan Leith, 2017 HCA Excellence in Nursing Award Winner. Ryan came to Fort Walton Beach Medical Center as a new graduate RN two and a half years ago and immediately made a huge impact on the team. Most importantly on the lives of our behavioral health patients. His peers have never seen one person have a more profound effect on a unit or on the population that they serve than Ryan does. He quickly builds therapeutic relationships with our patients and serves them with high levels of compassionate energy and integrity. Ryan is a primary responder to the “Dr. Love” emergency code situations and is second to none at kindly handling situations with agitated patients. Many times, he is seen calmly sitting next to an upset patient while helping them process their emotions without any further intervention needed. Ryan also serves as our liaison with military patients and is an ECT Recovery Nurse. He embodies the qualities of the HCA Excellence in Nursing Award.