A Minden Medical Center physical therapist is the recipient of the hospital's prestigious Mercy Award.
Beth Austin was elected by her peers to receive the award, which is given to a hospital employee who best exemplifies the values and spirit of LifePoint's former CEO, Scott L. Mercy.
Austin is a busy and dedicated mother, wife, servant in her church and community and has been a loyal and compassionate member of the Minden Medical Center family for seven years.
"To say that Beth gives freely to others is an understatement," MMC CEO George E. French III said. "Beth is a pillar in our community in many ways. Beth always puts others before herself. Her free giving nature and compassion are evident by her community service."
Austin is an active member at First United Methodist Church of Minden where she serves on the Wheelchair Ramp ministry. She has donned her pink tools and tool belt, volunteering for more than 25 ramp builds, including one in Joplin, Mo., after a tornado destroyed much of the community.
"Beth inspires people and freely gives to those that are less fortunate. She truly has the heart of a servant," French said. "Her heart overflows with concern and care for her patients and those around her. Beth will quickly tell you, 'It's not me,' giving credit to everyone else and never wanting attention drawn to her. Beth truly believes that God is working through her and she wants to give him glory."
Austin inspires fellow employees from simple encouragement to major fundraising events. She and her husband Michael spearheaded efforts to purchase a $60,000 wheelchair van for Presley Sones, the daughter of a fellow MMC employee who is unable to walk.
Over a four-month period the Austins held countless softball tournaments, 5K races, t-shirt sales and more to raise the needed funds for what Presley proudly calls "her van."
Austin has been an angel to others, purchasing a lift chair for an elderly patient on limited income. She even bought a guitar for a man working as a carpenter and mechanic struggling to make ends meet who wanted to become a musician.
Austin also provides diet tips and hosts exercise classes and bible studies at her home for co-workers.
When it comes to patient care, Austin goes above and beyond and give her patients cutting edge treatment. After receiving her physical therapist license in 2000, she obtained her wound care certification in 2004. In 2009, she returned to school and obtained her doctorate in physical therapy.
In 2013, she was appointed by Gov. Bobby Jindal to serve on the Louisiana Board of Physical Therapy Examiners.
Austin not only cares for MMC patients' rehab needs, but also for their total needs. When she has finished her therapy, she routinely ensures patients have water, extra linens, attends to other personal needs and ensures their call bell is within reach.
The Mercy Award, created to honor Scott L. Mercy (1961-2000), founding chairman and CEO of LifePoint Hospitals, honors outstanding employees for their commitment to LifePoint's high standards of excellence who best represents the spirit and values on which the company was founded. It is the highest honor an employee can receive.
Recipients consistently go beyond the call of duty in serving patients and the community; demonstrate a level of commitment and caring that transcends the everyday; respect the individual in everything they do; and inspire others with compassion, dedication and a merciful spirit.
As a Mercy Award recipient, Austin received $1,000, which she has already donated.