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2010 Frist Humanitarian Award Recipients Announced

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June 16, 2011

St. Petersburg, FL - Dr. Manu Nanda, MD, Sheri Jenks and Donna Mortensen were recently awarded St. Petersburg General Hospital’s 2010 Frist Humanitarian Award.  

The Frist Humanitarian Awards were created to recognize one physician, one employee and one volunteer at each HCA-affiliated facility who demonstrate extraordinary concern for the welfare and happiness of patients and their community. The Frist Humanitarian Awards are given annually in recognition of the humanitarian spirit and philanthropic work of the late Dr. Thomas F. Frist, Sr., a founder of HCA.

Dr. Manu Nanda, MD is the recipient of the 2010 Physician Frist Humanitarian Award.  He has served on the medical staff of  St. Petersburg General for over 26 years.  This physician is a native of India, where he attended medical school at Delhi University Maulana Azad Medical College, in New Delhi, graduating in 1978.  He completed residencies at New Britain General Hospital in 1979, followed by St. Vincent’s Hospital in 1980, and then Mercy Hospital in 1983.  He completed a fellowship at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Illinois in 1984.  Dr. Nanda is board certified in both General Surgery, and Colon and Rectal Surgery.  He is a member of the American College of Surgeons, American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, and Pinellas County Medical Society.

Dr. Nanda is a caring and compassionate physician.  He provides free surgical services to his patients who lack the means or ability to pay.  He serves the global community as he annually volunteers to do missionary work with the organization “Faith in Practice”.   For the past six years, he has traveled to Guatemala for one week every June, to operate on indigent patients along with a group of other surgeons, nurses and anesthesiologists.  The mission of this organization is to improve the physical, spiritual, and economic conditions of the poor in Guatemala through short-term surgical, medical and dental mission trips and health-related educational programs.

Dr. Nanda has many charitable accomplishments.  For the last seven years, he has sponsored two schools in rural India through the Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of U.S.A.  He also donates annually to Pratham U.S.A., a non-profit organization working to raise awareness of illiteracy in India.  They are opening schools to teach children in poverty-stricken areas of India.  Since the early 1990’s, Dr. Nanda has sponsored children in India and the Philippines from indigent families to help pay for their education and meals.  He frequently exhibits a remarkable concern and welfare for others both abroad and at home, and we are honored to have him on staff.

Sheri Jenks is the recipient of the 2010 Employee Frist Humanitarian Award and has been with HCA since 1991, specifically with St. Petersburg General Hospital since 2008.  She has had many “curve balls” thrown at her in her life, but that doesn’t stop her from having a positive attitude and positive outlook on life.  She has a passion for helping others and it shows every single day.

She is a cancer survivor, or as she puts it “cancer thriver”.  She is a dedicated advocate for the American Cancer Society.  For the past ten years, she has been involved in their support groups, Breast Cancer Awareness activities such as Teddy Bear Stuffing to benefit the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer campaign and the Relay for Life event, where she served as a Team Leader.  She also provides Reiki therapy.  Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing.  It is administered by “laying of hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through each one of us. Sheri also helps others through pet therapy.  She takes her dog, Angel Joy, to hospice and many hospitals in the area to visit patients.  The therapeutic use of pets can help patients in the healing process by reducing their stress level and potentially reducing their need for future medical care.  Through the use of these therapies, she has helped to change the lives of others. She is truly selfless, and she receives satisfaction from helping others through Reiki, pet therapy and from sharing personal stories.  

Donna Mortensen is the recipient of the 2010 Volunteer Frist Humanitarian Award, and she has been an exceptional part of the St. Petersburg General Hospital Auxiliary since April of 2008.  She has served as Vice President of the Auxiliary for the past two years, and has made a significant impact on our hospital.  For the past few years, she has created holiday favors for the patients at our hospital.  These favors are placed on each patient’s meal tray on the holiday.  Her efforts have made an impact on our patients, as these favors add a special holiday touch to their time spent here at our hospital.  She goes above and beyond to make life better for our patients and volunteers at our hospital and in her everyday life.  She serves her local community at St. Luke’s Methodist Church, where she volunteers to provide customer service phone coverage every week.  In addition, she serves as the Treasurer for St. Luke’s Women’s Group, The Wesleyan Circle.  This group supports missions, spiritual growth, and provides support to the community.  

“HCA is committed to delivering quality patient care. We are extremely proud to recognize Dr. Manu Nanda, MD, Sheri Jenks and Donna Mortensen for their efforts on behalf of our patients and our community,” said Robert B. Conroy, Jr., CEO of St. Petersburg General Hospital. “Their exemplary work and compassion sets a high standard for healthcare professionals. We are proud to have them as part of our family. Our patients benefit from the kind of commitment to humanitarian concerns they demonstrate each day.”

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