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LRMC recognizes doctors' dedication
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2010 Dr. Whitman Fraser Award recipient Dr. Adewumi Oguntunmibi thanks his patients and colleagues for nominating him. To his right are Dr. Alan Baroody, Sherry Fraser Somerville, Dr. Seth Borquaye and Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas. - photo by Photo by Denise Etheridge
An annual award inspired by the late Dr. Whitman Fraser was presented to Drs. Zorana Sifford and Adewumi Oguntunmibi Thursday at a reception held in the Liberty Regional Medical Center cafeteria.
Fraser was described as the quintessential hometown doctor, who was fully involved in the Hinesville community until his death in 1995. Before his death, Dr. Fraser set up the Mary Lou Fraser Foundation for Families in memory of his wife, Mary Lou Fraser, who died in 1985. He also created the Mary Lou Fraser Community Support Foundation which provided funds to build the local YMCA and the Fraser Center, a mental health counseling center located at 203 Mary Lou Drive in Hinesville.
“He truly loved Hinesville,” Fraser’s daughter, Sherry Fraser Somerville, said. Somerville said her father believed in treating a patient’s “body, mind and spirit.”
“We (the Fraser Center) are an organization continuing his legacy,” she said.
Sifford and Oguntunmibi were among 11 physicians nominated for this year’s Dr. Whitman Fraser Award. Nominees also included Dr. Seth Borquaye, who received the award last year, and Drs. Philip Ajayi, Calin Badea, Firas Bannout, Charles Ferris, Julio Pajaro Mercado, James Snow, Stephen Tankersley and Stephen Weiss.
The doctors were nominated by peers and patients on the basis of their expertise, initiative, dedication, compassion, leadership and ability to work with others, said Dr. Alan Baroody, executive director of the Mary Lou Fraser Foundation and a member of the Hospital Authority of Liberty County. Baroody read testimonials extolling the virtues of each nominee submitted to the hospital authority by patients and medical providers. He said to be nominated, physicians also had to be current LRMC staff members and volunteer in the community.
Borquaye, the first to receive the Dr. Whitman Fraser Award, presented this year’s awards.
“It is an honor to be the first recipient,” Borquaye said. He said this year’s winners and nominees demonstrate LRMC physicians “do a great job.”
Sifford was humble in accepting her award.
“I just come and do my job to the best of my ability,” she said. “I treat my patients the way I would want my family to be treated.”
Oguntunmibi said receiving the award will change his life and challenge him to strive even harder to practice quality medicine.
“It’s a challenge to all of us to do more,” he said.
Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas, who serves on the hospital authority board, said the city is growing and must continue to recruit and retain qualified medical professionals.
“Our community could not exist without this hospital,” Thomas said.
In addition to the award ceremony, the Hospital Authority of Liberty County presented the Fraser Center a $500 donation.
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