The annual Frist Humanitarian Awards, EIRMC’s highest honor, recognizes five of our own for their exemplary caring spirits, not only here at EIRMC, but also in the community.

To be selected for this honor, each had to meet the following criteria:

  • Show remarkable concern for the welfare and happiness of patients.
  • Perform extraordinary acts of kindness.
  • Have a positive effect on others.
  • Demonstrate a level of commitment to community service.

To put is simply, they live the I am EIRMC values, even when they aren’t at the hospital. Our recipients this year are:

Kirie Brown

Kirie Brown received multiple nominations this year, but they all expressed common admiration for the volunteer teaching that Kirie does in countries across the globe. She has travelled many times to nations like Nepal, China, Belize, Jordan, and parts of Africa to teach Neonatal Resuscitation to doctors and nurses. These are trips on her own time and on her own dime.

While in these countries, she has to go beyond her comfort level experiencing a total change in environment, cleanliness, food. Kirie often goes without basics of modern living, like hot water.

Kirie never complains about the conditions, but you know that some of these trips were harder than others. And yet, she’s made it her personal mission to teach other clinicians about neonatal care, so that vulnerable babies have a better shot at life. That’s truly the Frist spirit!

Kirie has graciously designated her award money to the EIRMC Volunteer Auxiliary.

Dan Ashworth

Dan Ashworth has been at EIRMC for four years, and is currently volunteering in the Surgical Waiting Room three times a week. He plays has a key role keeping family informed while their loved one undergoes Surgery.

Dan is compassionate and patient as he works to ease the worries of family awaiting news. He volunteers three times a week, for a total of 12 hours. In fact, Dan has volunteered now over 2,300 hours in the Surgical Waiting Room alone.

Dan’s work doesn’t stop when he leaves his volunteer shift at the hospital. He helps veterans all over Idaho through organizations including the Vietnam Veterans of America, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Military Affairs Committee. His passion is working with the Veterans Mobility Corp to repurpose motorized wheelchairs at no cost to veterans.

In one year, this group matched wheelchairs with 71 Veterans, including a veteran with special significance to Dan. One day he was visiting with a family while they passed the time in the Surgical Waiting Room. Their loved one was undergoing a leg amputation as a result of complications from Agent Orange exposure during wartime. Dan learned that the Veteran was going to need a powered wheelchair, but that the family had no means to obtain one. Wheelchair number 71 went to one of our very own EIRMC patients.

What sets Dan apart from others is how truly humble he is. He fits the definition of what a Frist Winner should embody. He sets an amazing example for all of us at EIRMC. He has made our hospital and community better by his self-less acts of kindness and service.

Dan has requested that Veterans Mobility Corp receive a charitable donation in his honor.

Andy Garrity

Dr. Andy Garrity is a board-certified Emergency Medicine physician, and has been a member of the EIRMC medical staff for 18 years.

Here are the phrases his colleagues use to describe Dr. Garrity:

  • Invaluable
  • Beloved
  • Compassionate
  • Knowledgeable
  • Strong work ethic
  • Calm demeanor

There are several stories that exemplify these characteristics.

A patient we had seen many times before was getting ready to go to jail after his medical clearance. He was a thin man and one who lives a hard life. The patient was standing with his arms cuffed behind his back, no shirt or shoes and pants falling down. As the scene unfolded, some of the ER staff were wondering what the cops were going to do about his pants. Dr. Garrity just walked up, said “Partner let’s do up your belt”, cinched up his belt and walked away. One of the ER staff grinned and said “I want to be just like Dr. Garrity.”

Another time, an older couple came in to receive care one evening. A diagnosis was given and prescriptions written. Upon discussing the plan of care with the patient and his wife, it was brought to light that they were on a limited income and getting these prescriptions would be a huge burden to the patient. Dr. Garrity handed the chart to the nurse and said “Please give them this envelope and do not tell them it was from me.” It was money for them to be able to get their prescriptions filled.

Dr. Andy Garrity exemplifies the values represented by HCA’s Frist Award. He is a man of integrity, of commitment, and of compassion. He might tell you that these acts of service aren’t a big deal or that it’s just what you do. But truly they are examples of extraordinary acts of service!

Dr. Garrity has asked that we designate his charitable gift to the Idaho Falls Soup Kitchen.

Kathy Fatkin

This award is to a nurse who advances nursing practice by guiding or supporting career development for nurses and by advancing evidence-based nursing knowledge.

Kathy has been the Medical Librarian at EIRMC for 20 years. In her role, she lends expertise and research to ensure policies and procedures are kept in line with evidence-based practice.

Kathy is also committed to helping other nurses obtain their advanced degrees. They describe her as a mentor that gives support while they balance working full time with schooling. Kathy has helped nurses improve their writing skills and educated them on citations allowing them to improve their scholarly writing.

Kathy’s commitment to continual learning and professional growth led her to seek a Doctorate Degree in Library Science. She had always dreamed of obtaining her doctorate, but didn’t want to leave her beloved state of Idaho. When Emporia State University in Kansas offered a distance learning program, Kathy was all in.

This required her to travel to Kansas for weekend intensives. Talk about perseverance… Kathy worked full time during the 7 years it took to finish the program.

Her PhD in Library Science has greatly benefited nurses at EIRMC. Kathy has been instrumental in helping with Nursing Research Council and Shared Governance. She truly loves watching nurses gain confidence in critiquing research and understanding the scholarly language associated with research studies.

EIRMC is fortunate to have someone of Kathy’s caliber right. She has selected the National Park Foundation, a nod to her great love of the Idaho and Wyoming outdoors, to receive a charitable gift in her name.

Malinda Barker

This award is for a nurse who demonstrates exceptional nursing knowledge and consistently applies both compassion and integrity.

Her nominator, Bevan Burnell, described Malinda’s giving and compassionate spirit, her selflessness in patient care, and her kindness towards colleagues.

Malinda is a tireless advocate for her patients and always goes the extra mile. She is busy going between ASU, PACU, and PAT looking for things to do to improve patient experiences and assist staff.

No job is too small and nothing is too much to ask of her. PACU and OR nurses don’t often have an opportunity to be recognized, since their parents aren’t awake. That makes Malinda’s kindness towards her patients even more extraordinary. She knows she won’t be remembered, but still goes out of her way with remarkable care for patients every day.

Malinda takes special care of her co-workers, too. She brings in hand-made goody baskets for staff on her days off that she has prepared from her garden. She makes homemade ice cream cakes for staff birthdays.

In the fall, Malinda brought pumpkins that she had grown to make decorations to spruce up the PACU, and even invited staff to her home to pick pumpkins for Halloween.

These are amazing examples of Malinda’s selfless sacrifice and commitment to both her patients and her hospital.

In Malinda’s honor, we will make a donation to the City of Refuge.

Each of these honorees were nominated by their peers, and then chosen by EIRMC’s Frist Committee from a large number of nominations.

This is not an easy award to win, but the qualities required for this award just seem to come naturally to this year’s recipients.