Fort Walton Beach, FL – Fort Walton Beach Medical Center announced last week the recipients of its 2014 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 Duffy, Priscilla Moore and Mariece Herring. The honorees of the Excellence in Nursing Award, celebrating the extraordinary clinical and compassionate care delivered by nurses every day, is Christine Ketnick.

“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.”

The nationwide 2014 HCA Awards of Distinction, the highest honor a physician, volunteer, employee and a nurse can receive at HCA, Fort Walton Beach Medical Center’s parent company, will be bestowed at a reception at HCA's Nashville, Tennessee headquarters next month.

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.

  • Dr. Eric Duffy, 2014 Physician Frist Humanitarian Award winner. Dr. Duffy exemplifies what it truly means to be a healthcare provider. He consistently provides exceptional service to his patients and is thought very highly of by his co-workers and the hospital staff. He consistently goes out of his way to ensure his patients are educated with regard to their healthcare and takes the time to explain everything in a way that the patient can understand. He always has a smile on his face and positive attitude and generously gives a lot of his free time to the community. He makes himself approachable no matter if he is speaking to another physician, student or a patient. He loves to share his knowledge and takes the time to teach whenever he can. He truly cares for his patients and goes above and beyond to ensure they receive exceptional care. Dr. Duffy has served in more than just this hospital and his community. He has also served in the U.S. Navy for which we would like to offer our thanks.
  • Mariece Herring, 2014 Volunteer Frist Humanitarian Award winner. Mariece has spent thirty-one of her ninety-four years as a volunteer for Fort Walton Beach Medical Center. She served as President of the Auxiliary twice and served numerous times in different positions on the Auxiliary Board. Her positions include Corresponding Secretary, Member-At-Large, and Parliamentarian. She is very knowledgeable in Roberts Rule of Order, which makes her a great asset in keeping the Board meetings on track. She was also elected as the Auxilian of The Year for the hospital. In addition to the numerous positions that she has held, she also has the ability to see a need and act on it. She has served as our Publicity Chairperson for many years, getting information into our Blue Jacket Newsletter and the local newspapers. She has been very active in the Fort Walton Beach Toastmasters Club where she has engaged and mastered public speaking, something that she is proud of! She also started the Infant Picture Program, which continues to this day. In addition to volunteering at the hospital, Mariece also enjoys writing and volunteering at her church. She has been an active member in her church for many years teaching Sunday School and taking flowers to the sick. With her writing she once wrote s short story and entered it into the Birmingham, Alabama newspaper where it was selected and she received a $10 award and her photo in the newspaper. She’ll tell you that this is one of her happiest memories. She has selflessly dedicated many years of her life to serving others and to serving at this hospital and at the age of 94 continues to work every week.
  • Priscilla Moore, 2014 Employee Frist Humanitarian Award winner. Priscilla has been an employee of Fort Walton Beach Medical Center since 1978 and she has selflessly devoted most of her life to this hospital. She is a very conscientious employee and works long hours without complaining and instills in her employees the desire to achieve excellence. She has been an inspirational leader to her staff and she keeps her department flowing efficiently and ensures that all Hospital, Division, and Corporate deadlines are met timely and accurately. In addition to her dedication to the hospital, Priscilla also has a passion for the mentally ill. She has been a very active volunteer with the Mental Health Association and the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) for several years. In the past she has been recognized for her work in the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill and was named the Outstanding Community Volunteer by the Mental Health Association of Okaloosa and Walton Counties.

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.

  • Christine Ketnick, 2014 HCA Excellence in Nursing Award winner. Christine’s loyalty, dedication and exceptional work ethic has been demonstrated tenfold during her more than 25 years here at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center. She has not only excelled in her role but has surpassed any and all expectations by using her prior experience to guide and support career advancement for each of the employees in her unit. Her professionalism is not bound to her department. She is very much a team player with her ultimate goal being to provide quality nursing to all of our patients. She has had her certification in Critical Care Nursing (CCRN) for years and keeps current with best practices, which she happily shares with her peers. She also places heavy emphasis on equipment training, education, competency, audits, and committee requirements and facilitates communication between leadership and staff. Christine is very compassionate in her care of the patient and their families. She has a heart of gold and always has a very positive attitude. She embodies the meaning of excellence in nursing. She is the role model for professionalism and compassion and is what all nurses should aspire to be. She’s an educator, a mentor, a volunteer, a peer supporter, and an excellent nurse. She is an invaluable asset to Critical Care but also to this facility.