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May 03, 2011

Tallahassee, FL – Capital Regional Medical Center has announced that the 2010 Frist Humanitarian Awards were presented to the following:

  • Dr. Robert Whittier, Physician Frist Award Recipient
  • Marie Owen, Volunteer Frist Award Recipient
  • Shelia Pereira, Employee Frist Award Recipient


Bud Wethington, President and CEO of CRMC, presents Dr. Robert Whittier, an Ear, Nose and Throat physician with Capital Regional for more than 35 years, the 2010 Frist Humanitarian Physician Award.


Bud Wethington, President and CEO of CRMC, presents Marie Owen, 73-year volunteer with Capital Regional, with the 2010 Frist Humanitarian Volunteer Award.


Bud Wethington, President and CEO of CRMC, presents Shelia Pereira, Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in the Capital Regional Emergency Department, with the 2010 Frist Humanitarian Employee Award.


The Frist Humanitarian Award is named in honor of Dr. Thomas F. Frist, Sr., a founder of Hospital Corporation of America.  The awards that bear his name were created in 1971 to honor outstanding individuals for their humanitarian and volunteer activities and to recognize HCA employees and volunteers who perform their work with concern, in a spirit of love, with humility and understanding. Those who earn the awards at their respective HCA facilities are then considered for the national First Humanitarian Award, the corporation’s highest honors.  

“Our Frist Awards honor three special individuals at Capital Regional Medical Center, a physician, volunteer and employee,” said Bud Wethington, President and CEO.  “Frist Award recipients are indispensible assets to our medical team, dedicating themselves to care, compassion and healing.  They not only epitomize the highest standards of quality and personal commitment, but they make our hospital and community a better place.”

For more than thirty-five years, Dr. Whittier has been a part of the HCA family, specializing in Ear, Nose and Throat medicine.  He has earned the reputation among his patients and colleagues for practicing with distinction and compassion at Capital Regional Medical Center. But his compassion for others doesn’t stop with his patients and colleagues at Capital Regional.  Through his church and several global organizations, Dr. Whittier has helped organize and participate in medical missions across the world, including Central and South America, the Caribbean and Africa, often times taking Capital Regional colleagues with him.  He has spent many years providing humanitarian aid to impoverished populations with great need.

Marie began volunteering with Capital Regional, then Tallahassee Community Hospital, in April of 1998 completing more than 4,000 hours of volunteer service.  Currently, Marie serves as co-chairman of the Capital Regional Gift Shop and spends every Thursday afternoon attending to customers. She is a very active member of the Volunteer Advisory Council, providing thoughtful and innovative ideas on how to improve the program and recruit additional volunteers.  As HCA’s commitment to compassion extends beyond our hospital walls so does Marie’s.  Marie is a member of the Deer Lake United Methodist Church and has devoted countless hours to serving her church family, including forming the church’s Congregational Care Committee and serving as the past-president of the United Methodist Women’s Organization. Marie’s passion and commitment to serving others each and every day make her an integral part of the Capital Regional team.

Shelia Pereira is a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in the Capital Regional Emergency Department. Meeting each patient and family member with a smile and warm heart, Shelia is the epitome of the perfect CNA and Frist Award winner. Regardless of the request, Shelia brings a consistent, positive attitude to each patient she encounters, not because she has to, but because she feels it is her calling to do so.  But Shelia’s good spirit spreads beyond her work with her patients.  Shelia serves as a member of the Capital Regional Employee Activities Committee, assisting with the coordination of employee events throughout the year and spearheads the Emergency Department’s involvement.   In addition, she has found the time to help found a local chapter of the Saint Vincent DePaul Society.  This organization provides direct, individual assistance to anyone in need within our community.

Dr. Robert Whittier, Marie Owen and Shelia Pereira will be among those considered for National Frist Humanitarian Awards, which will be announced later this month during a ceremony held at the headquarters of Hospital Corporation of America in Nashville, Tennessee.

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