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Northside Hospital & Tampa Bay Heart Institute Announces 2009 HCA Frist Award Winners

March 31, 2010 – St. Petersburg, FL– Northside Hospital & Tampa Bay Heart Institute is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2009 Frist Humanitarian Award. This annual award pays tribute to a staff member, volunteer and physician at each HCA hospital facility. This is the highest honor offered by HCA to these three roles, and is based upon excellence in both the daily hospital setting as well as in the community.

The recipients of the 2009 award were Karen Buffington, Marion Dougherty and Geetha Kamath, M.D., for employee, volunteer and physician, respectively. Recipients of the 2009 Frist Humanitarian Award were recommended by their peers and community leaders for excellence in and out of the workplace.

Karen Buffington serves as a unit secretary in the Northside Hospital Emergency Department. In the community, Karen devotes her time to providing toys, clothing and shoes to the Pinellas Park Police Department. For the past five years, her gifts have been disseminated to patrol officers to provide to children they encounter who have been affected by various forms of violence, abuse, and neglect.

Volunteer chaplain Marion Dougherty has been at Northside Hospital for nearly 15 years. She volunteers her time as Board and Facility Secretary at the St. Petersburg Theological Seminary and often teaches classes there. She touches all areas of the hospital, lending an ear to the patients, their families, and the employees; to listen, give advice, and pray.

Geetha Kamath, M.D. is a practicing hematologist and oncologist and has been involved in social services since the early 1980s. Dr. Kamath travels to India every year in November to serve the poor for two weeks. For the past five to six years, she has been actively involved in conducting medical camps for the homeless people within Pinellas County. Recently, Dr. Kamath visited Haiti for one week and served the victims of the recent earthquake. Northside Hospital made a donation in her honor to the Pinellas County Coalition for the Homeless.

“It is with great pleasure that I am able to award these three deserving people with our highest HCA honor,” said Stephen J. Daugherty, President and CEO of Northside Hospital. “They each make their own tremendous impact in the community, and our hospital is only stronger by having them as a part of our patient care team.”

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