St. David’s HealthCare proudly recognized three team members—a physician, an employee and a volunteer—earlier this month as the healthcare system’s 2016 Frist Humanitarian Award recipients. The Frist Humanitarian Awards recognize employees, physicians and volunteers at hospitals across the country affiliated with HCA (Hospital Corporation of America) who demonstrate extraordinary concern for the welfare and happiness of people living in their communities and beyond.
John (“Chip”) Oswalt, M.D., a cardiothoracic surgeon who practices at Heart Hospital of Austin, received the Frist Humanitarian Award for his significant contributions to the health of children worldwide. In 2000, Dr. Oswalt founded HeartGift, a nonprofit organization that provides lifesaving heart surgery to children from around the world where local specialized medical treatment is either scarce or nonexistent. In addition to free surgical intervention, HeartGift also provides a child and his or her parent a home and around-the-clock care by a host family, dental services, language interpretation services, transportation, cardiology consultations and anything else needed during the child’s stay in the U.S. To date, HeartGift has provided services to more than 300 children from 34 countries.
Shannon Ede, a registered nurse who works in the Executive Wellness department at Heart Hospital of Austin, was recognized in the employee category for her full life of compassionate care and charitable work. The indigent, elderly, young, sick, hungry and those in spiritual need have been touched by Ede’s warmth and acts of kindness. When she is not caring for patients at Heart Hospital of Austin, she is busy volunteering her nursing services to indigent and under-insured at the Sacred Heart Community Clinic, assisting international students through the Bridges International Student Organization, or volunteering and fundraising for the fight against pediatric cancer through the Jennifer Wilks Foundation. Additionally, Ede has served as a foster parent for seven children in need and volunteered for seven years at the Texas Baptist Children’s Home.
In the volunteer category, St. David’s HealthCare recognized Aesha Patel. She is a pre-med student at The University of Texas at Austin who makes a consistent effort to impact others in her free time. In addition to volunteering at Heart Hospital of Austin, Patel works for an annual charity concert called Ekal Vidyalaya, which raises money for schools in India. She also volunteers with Hearthstone Health Center, where she assists and engages with the elderly, coordinating various games and activities. One recent summer, Patel volunteered at the Bicske Refugee Camp in Budapest, Hungary, where she taught English language classes, public health, Tae Kwon Do and dance.
The dedication and generosity of each winner embodies the characteristics and values of St. David’s HealthCare. Presented annually, these awards recognize the humanitarian spirit and philanthropic work of the late Dr. Thomas F. Frist, Sr., a founder of HCA. These three award winners are now in the running for HCA’s National Frist Humanitarian Award.