Ft 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.

Mary Ann Roberts, 2016 Volunteer Frist Humanitarian Award Winner

Mary Ann volunteers primarily with the rehab department at The Northwest Florida Rehabilitation Institute in Destin. She visits with patients, families and employees weekly, often several times a week rain or shine. She provides spiritual support to those who are in need, or those who just need someone special to talk to. Mary Ann's presence brings a sense of peace and comfort to all those she contacts whether that is a patient or a team member. She has chosen to serve with no strings attached, never looking for reward or recognition. Patients have stated how she brightens their days with her inner warmth and radiant smile. She graciously conducts weekly Bible studies at her church for anyone that wishes to attend and has been a Precept Bible Study Leader since 1984. She has also found additional time to pursue several mission trips to help others. She visited Jamaica in 1980, Israel in 2005, and Mexico in 2005 and has been on many others. She has also done ministry in local prisons for inmates. She has done so much for her family, our patients and their families as well as the staff at FWBMC. The core values of the Frist Humanitarian Award are how she lives her daily life. She has been an auxiliary member serving as chaplain at FWBMC since 2007, and has volunteered over 1,170 hours of her time. Her devotion is to help others, to be a mentor to women, and to reach out to those who are suffering or in need.