St. David's HealthCare

St. David's HealthCare is one of the largest health systems in Texas and Austin's
third-largest private employer, with more than 60 sites throughout Central Texas,
including seven hospitals, four urgent care centers, four ambulatory surgery centers,
and two freestanding emergency departments, with a third set to open in Bastrop this summer.

St. David's HealthCare has a long history of serving the residents of Central Texas
with exceptional medical care. Our 7,500 employees touch over 858,000 lives each
year with a spirit of warmth, friendliness and personal pride.

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St. David’s HealthCare Names 2013 Frist Humanitarian Award Winners

5/5/2014 12:00:00 AM

AUSTIN — St. David’s HealthCare has recognized one employee, one physician and one volunteer as the healthcare system’s 2013 Frist Humanitarian Award recipients, putting the three Central Texans in the running for HCA’s national Frist Humanitarian Awards.

The Frist Humanitarian Awards recognize employees, physicians and volunteers at HCA-affiliated facilities across the country that demonstrate extraordinary concern for the welfare and happiness of patients and their communities. The awards are presented annually in recognition of the humanitarian spirit and philanthropic work of the late Dr. Thomas F. Frist, Sr., a founder of HCA.

“I am pleased to honor each of our nominees for their dedication and generosity,” David Huffstutler, president and chief executive officer of St. David’s HealthCare, said. “These individuals exemplify St. David’s Healthcare’s mission of caring for patients with a spirit of warmth, friendliness and personal pride. Their tireless efforts benefit our patients and the entire community.”

In the physician category, St. David’s HealthCare recognized Dana Simmang, M.D., as the 2013 Frist Humanitarian Award winner.

Dr. Simmang is a pediatrician who provides care for low- and medium-risk infants at St. David’s Georgetown Hospital. Colleagues describe her as calm, caring and compassionate. Staff at St. David’s Georgetown Hospital say they are incredibly proud to work with Dr. Simmang not only because of her excellent work with patients and families, but also because of her constant presence within the community.

Dr. Simmang plays an instrumental role for multiple organizations in Georgetown. She volunteers her time at the Annunciation Maternity Home, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing free housing, educational opportunities and health services to women and teens experiencing a crisis pregnancy. Dr. Simmang has served on the organization’s board of directors since 2008.

Dr. Simmang is very involved in the lives of her three children and is an active volunteer at their school—St. Helen’s Catholic School. She regularly volunteers to organize community blood drives, check student immunization records and assist with various school events. She also serves on the school’s board of directors.

Nominees in the physician category included: Robert Wozniak, M.D., St. David’s North Austin Medical Center; Gabriel Millar, M.D., St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center; and Donald Ward, M.D., St. David’s South Austin Medical Center.

In the employee category, St. David’s HealthCare recognized Elizabeth “Liz” Dendy as the 2013 Frist Humanitarian Award winner.

Dendy is a registered nurse at St. David’s Women’s Center of Texas located at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center. Dendy is an active member of the community and volunteers countless hours of her time to local and global charities. Friends and colleagues describe her as an individual that exemplifies benevolence and compassion.

Dendy is a founding member of Drops of Grace, a nonprofit that focuses on domestic and international missionary work. The charity, founded in 2008, provides humanitarian assistance across the globe by providing safe water, sanitation, health, education and shelter to at-risk communities.

Drops of Grace is currently involved in Malawi, South Africa—an area stricken with overwhelming poverty and an abundance of orphaned children. Dendy has helped to set up medical stations, provide valuable education and hands-on care in the area. Staff in the nursery department at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center have supported Dendy’s efforts by donating gently used baby garments for the less-fortunate in Africa.

Dendy is dedicated to helping others. She also volunteers her time at Camp Agape, a unique summer program for children who have suffered the loss of a loved one.

Nominees in the employee category included: Emily Edwards, St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center; April Kemp, Heart Hospital of Austin; Jane Henzen, St. David’s South Austin Medical Center; Ron Weaver, St. David’s Georgetown Hospital; and Cindy His, St. David’s Medical Center.

In the volunteer category, St. David’s HealthCare recognized Rose Jacobs as the 2013 Frist Humanitarian Award winner.

Jacobs has been a faithful volunteer at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center for more than two years. In that time, she has volunteered more than 1,400 hours in the heart and vascular lab and renal transplant department, where she assembles patient education packets, files and compiles documents, and assists with new hires and managing the front desk. She is an integral member of each department and demonstrates compassion and respect towards staff, patients and visitors.

Jacobs served as chair of the St. David’s North Austin Medical Center Auxiliary Fundraising Committee in 2012. In 2013, she independently raised $35,000, making a tremendous impact on the lives of hospital employees with financial need. Friends and colleagues say Jacobs has cultivated a habit of doing service deliberately in the hospital, not only for her personal happiness, but also for that of the world at large.

When Jacobs is not volunteering at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center, she volunteers with five other organizations each week. She works with the executive staff at the Texas Council on Family Violence, helping them to maintain files and input data. Additionally, she volunteers at the Texas State Archives and the Texas State Talking Book Program. Jacobs also serves as an usher at the Paramount and State Theatres. Jacob’s compassion is not limited to humans – she also volunteers with local animal shelters, helping stray dogs and cats find loving homes.

Nominees in the volunteer category included: Sue Ann Chandler, St. David’s Medical Center; Minta McIntosh, St. David’s Georgetown Hospital; Ralph Mothner, Heart Hospital of Austin; Helen Okrina, St. David’s South Austin Medical Center; and Barbara Desormeau, St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center.

St. David’s HealthCare
With more than 90 sites across Central Texas, St. David’s HealthCare includes seven of the area’s leading hospitals and is one of the largest health systems in Texas. Known for compassionate, high-quality care, the organization has been recognized with the Texas Award for Performance Excellence, the highest honor bestowed by the State of Texas based upon world-class quality measures. In 2014, two of the system’s facilities—St. David’s Medical Center and St. David’s North Austin Medical Center—were named among the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals by Truven Health Analytics (formerly Thomson Reuters), a leading provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of healthcare. St. David’s HealthCare was also recognized as one of the top 15 health systems in the U.S. by Thomson Reuters in 2012. Additionally, St. David’s Medical Center—which includes Heart Hospital of Austin—was named a Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospital for 2013. Perennially ranked as the top Austin-area employer among large companies by the Austin Business Journal’s annual “Best Places to Work” survey, St. David’s HealthCare is the fourth-largest private employer in the Austin area, with more than 8,100 employees. For more information, please visit

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