NICEVILLE — Twin Cities Hospital has announced its 2018 HCA Award of Distinction winners, including the Frist Humanitarian awards that recognize one physician, one employee and one volunteer who "demonstrate extraordinary concern for the welfare and happiness of patients and their community," according to a hospital news release.

The First Humanitarian Awards are given annually in recognition of the humanitarian spirit and philanthropic work of the late Dr. Thomas Frist Sr., a founder of HCA Healthcare, which operates Twin Cities Hospital.

The 2108 physician winner is Dr. Thomas Fox, who volunteers on a regular basis at the Crossroads Medical Clinic in Valparaiso and the Hope Medical Clinic in Destin, providing much-needed service. Fox also volunteers as the team doctor at Northwest Florida State College, providing year-round care for the athletes.

The 2018 employee winner of the Frist Humanitarian Award is Sharon Wise, a registered nurse at Twin Cities Hospital. She coordinates and participates in many fundraising events for scholarships, drug awareness programs, youth camps, veterans’ programs and the Americanism Essay Program. She serves on the boards of directors of the Florida One/Emerald Coast Healthcare Coalition and the State Medical Assistance Response Team.

In addition to earning the hospital-level Frist Humanitarian Award, Wise also was selected as the HCA North Florida Division Employee Frist Award Winner. HCA's North Florida Division comprises 16 hospitals.

The 2018 Frist Humanitarian Award for Twin Cities Hospital volunteers was presented to Carolyn Van Pelt, who has served in the Twin Cities Hospital Auxiliary for more than 33 years and has accrued almost 24,000 hours of volunteer time. In addition to representing the hospital auxiliary at the Niceville-Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce, she teaches a Sunday school class for special-needs children and is active in the Retired Officers Wives Club at Eglin Air Force Base.

Van Pelt was also recognized as a true friend and supporter of a Twin Cities Hospital staff member's adult child with Down syndrome who volunteers with the auxiliary.

"Twin Cities Hospital is dedicated to providing the highest-quality patient care, and each of these individuals is being honored because of their ongoing commitment to fulfilling this mission," Dave Whalen, CEO of Twin Cities Hospital, said in the news release. "We are grateful to work alongside these awardees, knowing that our community is growing stronger every day because of the contributions of such passionate individuals."