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Frist Humanitarian Award Winners Announced

April 21, 2009

Spring Hill, Florida – Oak Hill Hospital has announced that its 2008 Frist Humanitarian Awards were presented to the following:

  • Frist Humanitarian Associate Award presented to Phoebe J. Pond-Hart.
  • Frist Humanitarian Volunteer Award presented to Virginia (Jini) Sommerfeld and
  • Frist Humanitarian Physician Award was presented to Adel M. Eldin, MD.

The Frist Humanitarian Award was created in 1971 to honor outstanding individuals for the humanitarian and volunteer activities. Named in honor of the late Dr. Thomas F. Frist, Sr. – founder of HCA and a renowned humanitarian – this award recognizes individuals whose daily dedication and care-giving epitomize the highest standards of quality and personal commitment. Dr. Frist’s favorite saying was that, “Good people beget good people.” In making the announcement Oak Hill Hospital’s CEO Mickey Smith said that people like Phoebe Pond-Hart, Jini Sommerfeld, Dr. Eldin and all the nominees ensure that the Frist legacy will continue.

Three awards are now given annually to each HCA hospital. One recognizes an HCA associate who goes beyond day-to-day responsibilities and their overall service to the community. Another recognizes an HCA volunteer who gives unselfishly in their service to the facility. This year a third award was announced for a physician who best epitomizes Dr. Thomas Frist, Sr.’s commitment to the communities in which we serve.

The local award winners were selected by a panel that included peers, prior winners and prior nominees. The local employee and volunteer winners receive a prize of $250, a beautiful 10k gold Frist lapel pin and a certificate of recognition. The local physician winner receives a donation to a favorite charity in his or her name and the 10k gold Frist lapel pin. The local Frist award winners have been submitted to the National Selection Committee for consideration. National recipients will be honored at a reception at the company’s Nashville, Tennessee headquarters. Additionally they each receive a bronze statue, $5,000 gift to the charity of their choice and a $5,000 cash gift.

Miss Phoebe Pond-Hart, the Frist Associate Award winner, was nominated for her persistent giving to every cause and tragedy that touches the lives of those around her. She has contributed to food basket drives, the angels program, and coordinated efforts – while contributing significantly herself – to assist a coworker get the supplies she needed after a house fire. Away from work, Phoebe cares for over two dozen unwanted, stray, or medically-needy animals. She works closely with a veterinarian to ensure these animals are cared for in the best possible way. Phoebe has positively impacted her associates at work and four-legged friends in her neighborhood.

Jini Sommerfeld, the Frist Volunteer Award winner, currently serves as the Co-Chair of Senior Friends/H2U, but has previously served as secretary, vice-chair, and president of that program. Jini is quick to make every new volunteer feel welcome. She also volunteers two days per week at Brooksville Cardiology as a Senior Advocate, ensuring that excellent communication takes place between the practice and the senior citizens population. Jini has also served as treasurer of her homeowners association and is a sought after volunteer at other community health fairs. Jini’s hospital bedside presence for any hospitalized volunteer is what folks are most grateful for. She ensures that every volunteer is visited regularly. She also knits the blankets that are given out with the stuffed bears in the H2U’s “Burden Bear” program. Her generous spirit knows no boundaries.

Dr. Eldin, the Frist Physician Award winner, has been a sponsor of many community events. Previously, he offered his physician services free-of-charge to Access Hernando and currently volunteers his services in connection with the Crescent Community Clinic in Hernando County and at a free clinic in Tampa. He speaks at interdenominational and cultural events to educate the community on the peace and love taught by Islam and is an advocate for patient rights and elder abuse, giving regular lectures and seminars on the topics.

He has served as an advisor or representative to Hernando County Healthcare Advisory Board, the Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce and donates generously as he sits on the board of the local YMCA. He also contributes financially to many local and national programs including the local Sheriff’s Office Youth Education Services Program, the “Invest in the Children” program at a local community college, the Jerome Brown Community Center, the USO and troops worldwide, and the list goes on and on.

Dr. Eldin also created the Ramadan Thanksgiving Basket project. For eight years, Dr. Eldin along with his wife, Ghada, has donated food baskets to needy families and veterans in Hernando County. Also during the 2008 Ramadan celebration, Dr. Eldin sponsored a special meal to the local American Legions’ “Love Thy Neighbor” weekly program to feed the homeless.

About Oak Hill Hospital:
Oak Hill Hospital is now celebrating 25 years of compassionate care to the community.

Oak Hill Hospital has been serving the Nature Coast since 1984. It is the largest medical facility in Hernando and Citrus County (204 acute care beds) and offers Hernando County’s only comprehensive heart program including open heart surgery.

Approximately 300 physicians, 900 associates, and 300 volunteers comprise Oak Hill Hospital’s health care delivery team.

Oak Hill has achieved distinction as the:

  • First and only Chest Pain Center in Hernando and Citrus County accredited by the Society of Chest Pain Centers.
  • First primary stroke center to be fully accredited by the Joint Commission in Citrus and Hernando County.
  • First hospital in the area to be recognized as an accredited cancer institute by the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACoS).

It is located at 11375 Cortez Boulevard, Spring Hill, 1.9 miles east of US 19 on State Road 50. For more information about this release, please call (352) 597-6383 (Hernando) or (352) 628-6441 (Citrus).

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Marketing & Public Relations Contact:
Richard Linkul
(352) 597-6383