Hospital presents annual Frist awards

Raulerson Hospital CEO Brian Melear announced ER Nurse Manager Geralyn Windle as the Innovators’ Award Winner.

OKEECHOBEE – The HCA Healthcare Awards of Distinction, which include the Frist Humanitarian Awards and the Innovators Awards, are the highest honors that HCA bestows on its employees, physicians and volunteers. These awards honor exceptional individuals whose work and lives reflect the patient-centered, entrepreneurial and humanitarian values upon which HCA was founded 50 years ago. The exemplary service and selflessness of each recipient challenges and inspires us all to live our company’s mission of caring for and improving human life.
The Frist Humanitarian Award was created in 1971 to honor outstanding individuals for their humanitarian and volunteer activities. Named in honor of Dr. Thomas F. Frist Sr. (1910 – 1998), a founder of HCA, this award recognizes individuals who serve the community and those in need and whose daily dedication and care giving epitomize the highest standards of quality and personal commitment.

Frist Award nominees should be individuals who strive to represent qualities such as a commitment to community service beyond the daily operation of the facility that parallels their involvement to quality patient care. Nominees should also demonstrate remarkable concern for the welfare and happiness of patients and perform extraordinary acts of kindness, not necessarily in the area of direct patient care. Finally, nominees should be exhibit characteristics which make this world a better place and inspires others to get involved by caring for the community and others in need.

Raulerson Hospital CEO Brian Melear presents the Frist Humanitarian Award to Volunteer Jacque Hayes.

The Frist nomination forms are reviewed by the previous Raulerson Hospital Frist Humanitarian Award winners, who then select the winner of this very prestigious award.

Raulerson Hospital’s Frist Humanitarian Award winner for the Volunteer category is Jacque Hayes! Jacque has volunteered at Raulerson Hospital for two and a half years, acquiring more than 1,000 hours. Jacque also serves in the role of chaplain, among the auxiliary. She was an educator for 32 years for deaf and blind students. With her knowledge of braille, she helped implement signage improvements at Raulerson Hospital. She, alongside her husband, Ron, work tirelessly to organize, recruit, produce and sometimes even star in seasonal performances for the Community Theatre, and they provide mini-grants to the Okeechobee Educational Foundation, with portions of the proceeds. Jacque’s kind heart can be witnessed in every interaction with patients and staff.

Raulerson Hospital’s Frist Humanitarian Award winner for the Employee category is Maxine Collins! Maxine works in Central Sterile, a department within Surgical Services. Maxine has been part of the Raulerson Hospital family for more than 30 years. Professionally, Max has become a great mentor and resource for the OR staff and physicians. She is very supportive of the youth in our community and is even active in Okeechobee County’s 4-H program. Maxine has a big heart for multiple organizations, including March of Dimes, St Jude, Real Life Children’s Ranch, Martha’s House, and the HCA Hope Fund. When members of our community reach out during hard times, due to fires, storms or other tragedies, Max always helps organize and provide needed items. She has a heart bigger than most. The staff at Raulerson Hospital do not know where she finds the time to do all that she does, but she is truly inspiring. Max likes to be behind the scenes but is always there to help.

Earlier this year, ER Nurse Manager Geralyn Windle participated in Raulerson Hospital’s Innovators Award program by submitting an idea for the Quality & Patient Safety category. Gerry proposed an automatic suicide risk indicator/symbol on ER Patient Trackers. This idea of a default indicator complements the Joint Commission’s National Patient Safety goal of improving patients’ suicide assessment, and is especially relevant in the ER. Raulerson Hospital selected Geri’s Innovator idea as the facility’s winner. Gerry’s idea was also selected as HCA East Florida Division’s Quality & Patient Safety Innovators Award winner!

Raulerson Hospital is a facility of HCA East Florida. HCA East Florida is the largest healthcare system in Eastern Florida and an affiliate of HCA Healthcare (HCA). HCA East Florida has 15 hospitals, multiple ambulatory surgery centers, urgent care centers, physician practices, imaging centers and free standing emergency care facilities, as well as a supply chain center and an integrated regional lab. Together, HCA East Florida employs more than 18,000 employees and has more than 6,600 physicians on staff. For more information, visit

Raulerson Hospital staff member Maxine Collins accepts the Frist Humanitarian Award from Raulerson Hospital CEO Brian Melear.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.

Facebook Comment