Oak Hill Hospital March 20, 2019

Left to right: Associate nominee Nichole Johnson; Physician winner Dr. Michael Higgins; Associate winner George Meadows; Physician nominee Dr. Salman Muddassir

Oak Hill Hospital is proud to announce the winners of its annual Frist Associate, Physician, and Volunteer Humanitarian Awards. This year's recipient of the Frist Associate Humanitarian is George Meadows, RRT. The recipient of the Frist Volunteer Humanitarian Award is Lois Hackett and this year's Frist Physician Humanitarian recipient is Michael W. Higgins, DO, FAOAO.

The Frist Humanitarian Awards honor outstanding individuals for their humanitarian and volunteer services. Named in honor of the late Thomas F. Frist, Sr., MD, founder of HCA Healthcare and renowned humanitarian, this award recognizes individuals whose daily dedication and giving epitomize the highest standards of quality and personal commitment.

The local associate and volunteer winners receive a prize of $250, a 10k gold Frist lapel pin, and a certificate of recognition. The physician winner receives the opportunity to name a charity of their choice to receive a $250 donation. The local winners are then nominated for the national Frist award and the national winners are honored in the spring at a reception in the company's Nashville, Tennessee, headquarters. National winners receive a bronze statue, a $5,000 gift certificate to the charity of their choice, and a $5,000 cash gift.

About George Meadows, RRT, Director Of Respiratory Services

While being interviewed as a possible candidate for the Oak Hill Hospital Associate Frist Humanitarian Award, George Meadows, RRT, provided the classic comment that characterizes every true Frist humanitarian: "I am just George; I do not see myself as compared to those who were honored before me." True Frist humanitarians never perceive themselves as we see them. However, when asking his colleagues and hospital associates about him, they are quick to reply:

"He is the one who also asks, 'What can I do to help?' and * 'How can I make your life easier?'"

George came to us from a 30-year career in the United States Air Force where he was recognized as an exceptional leader. He made his home in Sugarmill Woods and as a department manager at Oak Hill Hospital. In 2011, he enrolled in the Leadership Citrus program and was soon elected to the position of class leader. This is typical for George. He is not only known as the member of several organizations in Citrus County, but also, he is usually sought to assume leadership positions. For example:

  • He joined Rotary Club of Sugarmill Woods and was soon elected president.
  • He serves as president of the Sugarmill Woods Charitable Foundation
  • He is the current Co-Ethics and Compliance Officer with Oak Hill Hospital.
  • He is also a current member of the Sugarmill Woods Civic Association.

Under his leadership, the Sugarmill Woods Charitable Foundation provides items to local elementary schools that are considered lower income schools.

As a manager, his department has a reputation for the lowest turnover in personnel.

About Lois Hackett

Lois Hackett volunteers countless hours as manager of the Volunteer Association gift shop. Under her leadership, funds are raised for the association to award tens of thousands of dollars to Hernando County high school seniors who wish to pursue a career in healthcare.

In 2018, 24 scholarships totaling $27,000 were given to high school graduates in Hernando County. In addition to the countless hours she spends raising money for the Volunteer Scholarship Program, Lois participates in the Shady Hills Methodist Church food pantry program giving several hours a week in this important community outreach program.

About Michael W. Higgins, Do, FAOAO

Dr. Michael Higgins embodies the very qualities that Dr. Thomas Frist, Sr., aspired to throughout his life as a physician, community leader, and humanitarian.

From the moment Dr. Higgins began his practice 15 years ago in Hernando County, he and his wife, Cara, "hit the ground running." He joined and founded several organizations including the Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce and has earned the respect of business leaders, physicians, and healthcare workers, religious and community leaders as someone who could be counted on to make things happen.

He takes the initiative and is the founder of the Hernando County Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. Under his leadership, the AOH has raised funds to support organizations such as Feeding America and has collaborated with other organizations to feed the hungry. Dr. Higgins and the AOH were quick to come to the aid of a local business by assisting them financially after they incurred losses due to a burglary. In fact, Dr. Higgins and the members of AOH recently accepted a proclamation from the Hernando County Board of County Commissioners for their many contributions. Dr. Higgins is known for supporting many organizations such as local arts and theater groups and 20 different sports leagues. Over the years, he has provided sports physicals at no charge for many sports teams.