This year’s Frist Humanitarian Award recipients have demonstrated compassionate care and made extraordinary contributions.

The humility these leaders displayed upon receiving our company’s highest honor was remarkable. Clearly, each honoree felt he or she was compelled to respond to a need and help others through actions that, large or small, made a real difference.

The story of these three individuals is yet another chapter in a much bigger story, one that has been unfolding for more than 40 years. In addition to the stories of Dick Adams, Dr. Frank Cirisano and Kelli Jantz, this issue contains other legendary stories of response to human and societal needs. HCA’s responsiveness always goes above and beyond expectations, and that has been part of our culture since our founding.

When HCA co-founder Dr. Tommy Frist, Jr. launched the Tocqueville Society for the United Way in 1981, he probably did not foresee that it would grow to more than 500 communities across the United States and around the world. De Tocqueville members now give an average of about $600 million annually. Nor was it his goal to become the first recipient of the United Way’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In his acceptance remarks this spring, Dr. Frist said, “I am forever indebted to HCA for providing me a platform and encouragement over the years to work with organizations like United Way Worldwide.”

When HCA employees reached out to help fellow employees affected by the Florida hurricanes in 2004, they probably weren’t aware they were taking the first step in creating an employee-run, employee-supported charity that was formalized in July of 2005. That was fortunate timing. The next month, Hurricane Katrina seriously disrupted millions of lives and HCA operations in New Orleans and across the Gulf Coast. Luckily, regaining a semblance of normalcy was made possible through the Hope Fund.

This year, I have the privilege of serving as the executive sponsor for the Caring for the Community Campaign conducted at the corporate office. Similar campaigns benefiting the HCA Hope Fund will be carried out at campuses across the U.S. In addition to fundraising campaigns, many locations will sponsor community service days where teams of HCA volunteers will visit not-for-profit agencies and provide thousands of hours of service. This collective commitment to HCA’s mission, of caring for and improving human life, is a shared accomplishment in which we all can take pride.

Sincerely,

Joe Sowell
Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer