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Pine Belt residents honored as Spirit in Action winners during annual event - Forrest Health
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    Published on April 17, 2014

    Pine Belt residents honored as Spirit in Action winners during annual event


    HATTIESBURG, Miss. ­ (April 17, 2014) Five Pine Belt residents were honored for their commitment to caring for the community as winners of the Spirit in Action Awards, presented at the annual Spirit of Women Spring Event on April 17.


    This year¹s event brought men and women of all ages from across the region to hear from Board Certified Occupational Medicine physician and five-year breast cancer survivor ­ Sheri Y. Prentiss, M.D. Dr. Prentiss was honored to represent the Susan G. Komen 3-Day as the National Spokesperson. She now shares her story, her voice, her life and her victory as an impassioned motivational speaker. Dr. Prentiss¹ remarkable story has inspired tens of thousands of people across the country.


    During the event, five special attendees were surprised by being called to the stage as winners of the 2014 Spirit in Action awards, recognizing their work in making the Pine Belt a healthier, safer and more inspirational place to live. This year¹s winners were:


    Dr. Rodney Bennett ­ Dr. Bennett became the 10th President of the University of Southern Mississippi on April 1, 2013. But, before he even became President, he jumped into action leading the university¹s recovery from the powerful EF-4 tornado that ripped thru the Southern Miss campus and the Hattiesburg area on February 10, 2013. As stated in a news release, ³He¹s already successfully led the early stages of The University of Southern Mississippi¹s recovery from a tornado and endeared himself to students through a basketball ticket giveaway.² We all know the wonderful job he is doing as president of Southern Miss, and he has continued with the caring spirit he exhibited before he started the job!


    Kathy Garner ­ Kathy has worked diligently for more than 30 years to improve the city of Hattiesburg and the surrounding communities. Most recently, she has developed programs to address homelessness, HIV/AIDS and poverty. From obtaining grants to improve a local school, to turning dilapidated apartments into housing for low-income families, Kathy is always looking for a way to help those who have no voice in our community. 


    Carolyn Hood ­ Carolyn has given freely of her time over the years and served on numerous boards ­ United Way, United Methodist Hour, Millsaps College, Diabetes Foundation, Governor¹s Fitness Program for youth. She has always been very active in Parkway United Methodist Church and provides professional counseling to those in need. However, it is her work in missions in Honduras through Baptist Medical Dental International that emphasizes what a caring person Carolyn is. She has organized many teams over the years to provide medical, dental and surgical treatments to the Honduran people.


    Robert St. John ­ Robert is a father, husband, restaurateur, chef, author and columnist. Although those are significant achievements, it is his work with Extra Table that makes him so deserving to be named as a Spirit in Action Award winner. Extra Table was founded by St. John and is a statewide non-profit organization that helps supply mission pantries and soup kitchens with healthy, shelf-stable food. His never ending energy and passion for Extra Table has resulted in feeding many people who would otherwise have gone hungry!


    Rick Taylor ­ Rick Taylor serves as Executive Director of the Hattiesburg Convention Commission and the Hattiesburg Tourism Commission. He has taken the entire city of Hattiesburg and south Mississippi to a whole new level. His hard work and vision is evidenced in the Lake Terrace Convention Center, the Saenger Theatre, two museums and most noticeably at the Hattiesburg Zoo.


    ³Each of these Spirit in Action award winners is a great asset to our community,² said Millie Swan, Forrest General chief marketing and medical staff services officer. ³We are proud to be able to recognize them for their commitment to make the Pine Belt a better place to live and work,² said Swan.


    About Spirit of Women

    Spirit of Women is a national movement led by hospitals across the United States with the mission to move women to take action for better healthŠmind, body and spirit. With more than 8,000 members, Forrest General is the exclusive Spirit of Women hospital for South Mississippi, having attained Premier status in recognition of strong efforts in moving women to take action for their health! For more information about Spirit of Women, call FGH OnCall at 1-800-844-4445




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