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DeKalb Medical Announces Good Samaritan Award Recipient

September 22, 2010

Decatur, GA -- DeKalb Medical announces its 2010 Good Samaritan Award recipient. Ernestine Rogers Lightford, was the only person surprised when her name was called at the recent award ceremony. The concierge and 35-year employee has served in a number of roles during her career with the health system, as well as volunteering in the community. During her tenure, she has become known for her maturity, conscientiousness, poise and grace. Lightford was nominated by her peers and selected by DeKalb Medical's senior management team to receive this award.

Established by the health system's first administrator, William H. Thrasher, and presented each year by the Thrasher family, the award honors employees who "approach life and their calling in a way that truly makes a difference to relieve human suffering," according to DeKalb Medical's Director of Pastoral Care Services, Betty H. Castellani, D.Min. The recipient receives a plaque and a check in the amount of $250.00.

Greeting and guiding people who walk into the North Decatur hospital's main lobby, Lightford smiles, listens and extends a helping hand to all. Giving each person who crosses her path personal attention, care and compassion, this modern day Good Samaritan has a knack for "understanding a person's anxiety at being in a hospital and allaying their fears with her gentle spirit. She has a sweet, sweet spirit and like the story of the Good Samaritan found in the Book of Luke, people are encouraged by her presence in their lives," adds Castellani.

Outside of work, Lightford serves as a missionary as well as planning events and facilitating meetings at her church. She has also volunteered with programs that deliver meals to the homebound.

Lightford herself has experienced great tragedy throughout the years. Her mother and brother died within a year of each other; then her husband and father passed away. This year she lost her daughter, unexpectedly, to lupus and is now raising her orphaned grandson. Although deeply grieving the loss of her close family members, Lightford continues to live gracefully, always reaching out to help others who are struggling. What's the secret to Lightford's success? She says, "I put God first and I treat others how I want to be treated."

About DeKalb Medical

A leader in cancer, heart attack treatment and orthopedics, DeKalb Medical is a non-profit hospital system serving half a million patients annually. Founded in Atlanta in 1961, the 627-bed system includes the DeKalb Medical at North Decatur (451 beds), DeKalb Medical Long Term Acute Care at Downtown Decatur (76 beds) and DeKalb Medical at Hillandale (100-beds).

451-bed DeKalb Medical at North Decatur, the 76-bed DeKalb Medical Long Term Acute Care at Downtown Decatur and the 100-bed DeKalb Medical at Hillandale in Lithonia. For more information on DeKalb Medical, visit www.dekalbmedical.org.

Tori Vogt
Media Relations Coordinator
DeKalb Medical

2701 North Decatur Road Decatur, GA 30033
Patient Inquiries: 404.501.5200

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