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January 7, 2011

Health System honors Community Service Award winners

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The University of Virginia Health System Community Service Award recognizes and honors exceptional individuals who make volunteerism and community service a way of life. This year, UVA is honoring two award winners at a ceremony on Monday, Nov. 1. The recipients of the award are David Simmons, RN and Scott Syverud, MD, for their extraordinary dedication to volunteerism, community service and outreach initiative. The evening will kick-off with a cocktail reception and be followed by the award ceremony starting promptly at 6:15 p.m.

The recipients embody a sense of caring and responsibility for others that connects citizens and solves community problems. They make extraordinary contributions beyond their normal job duties to enhance community life.

David Simmons, a registered nurse in UVA’s nephrology clinic, is receiving the award for overall community service. He has helped organize local community health screenings for a variety of diseases and also implemented “You’ve Got a Friend,” an event to improve the image of police officers among children and community members.

The other award recipient is Scott Syverud, MD, professor in UVA’s Department of Emergency Medicine, for his work in health-related outreach, including the Remote Area Medical (RAM) clinics in Wise and Grundy, Va. He also provided medical care in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and in Haiti after this year’s earthquake.

In addition to these awards, UVA is also presenting two Community Builder awards to individuals who demonstrate a strong commitment to community service. The selection committee selected Agnes Kanyanya, RN, and Vickie Marsh for their commitment to improving the lives of others. Kanyanya, a registered nurse in UVA’s pediatric intensive care unit, was spurred by the death of her mother during her sister’s birth in the Democratic Republic of Congo to found a non-profit organization, PROSAMI, to reduce mortality rates of newborns and their mothers in Congo.

Marsh, a supervisor in UVA’s Patient & Guest Services, is extensively involved in community service through her church and other local organizations. Her volunteer efforts include assisting refugees from Liberia by helping teach them English and adjust to living in the United States.

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