Forrest General Hospital is proud to announce the winners of the fourth-annual Philip W. Rogers Award. This annual award is presented to health care workers who exemplify commitment to the field of medicine and excellence in patient care. This year, the award was presented to four individuals based on nominations received from their peers. Each winner represents one of Rogers’ most admirable characteristics, as an advocate, an innovator, a leader and a mentor.
Dr. Benjamin Carmichael was honored as an innovator. Carmichael came to Forrest General in 1974 as Hattiesburg’s first board-certified cardiologist, and will be considered a pioneer in Forrest General history in many of the hospital’s “firsts,” including the first Swan-Ganz flow-directed catheter implant, the first cardiac catheterization, and the first angioplasty. Carmichael was also instrumental in the development of several of Forrest General’s most successful programs, including development of Forrest General’s Cardiac Center of Excellence, the Cardiac Catheterization Lab, the Remote Cardiac Monitoring system and advancement of the Coronary Care Unit (CCU) as well as establishment of the first cardiovascular surgery program in the area.
The award for leadership was given to Dr. Steven Farrell. Farrell currently serves as chief medical officer and medical director of hospital care services at Forrest General, and as vice president and a member of the board of directors for Hattiesburg Clinic. Farrell has been deeply involved in medical staff committees at Forrest General and at Hattiesburg Clinic, and has earned the Fellow in Hospital Medicine designation from the Society of Hospital Medicine.
The mentor award recognized the efforts and service of Dr. Eric Hale. Throughout his career, Hale has been instrumental in training many medical students, and always strives to make their time here a valuable learning experience. Many of the medical students trained by Hale have returned to the Hattiesburg area to practice, extending his legacy of mentorship through future generations of Forrest General’s medical staff. In addition to his leadership with medical students, Hale has also committed his time and talents to numerous leadership opportunities at Forrest General and Hattiesburg Clinic, including serving as past president of Forrest General’s medical staff and on Hattiesburg Clinic’s board of directors as well as many medical staff committees at Forrest General and Hattiesburg Clinic.
Sandi Thames, Forrest General’s chief administrative technologist for the clinical laboratory, was honored as an advocate. In her role, staff members note that Thames wears the hats of several different jobs, including acting as counselor when helping an employee with a problem, serving as a mentor and role model for her staff members by acting professionally and being a hard worker who is dedicated to Forrest General.