Franciscan's President and CEO, Frank L. Smith, Jr., MS, RRT, was among five people honored with St. Joseph's Health's Sister Patricia Ann Award for Excellence at a special ceremony May 17th at the hospital.

“The Sister Patricia Ann Award for Excellence is one of the most prestigious awards that St. Joseph’s offers,” said Deborah Welch, vice president for people and chairperson for the awards committee. “Sister Patricia Ann devoted 41 years to St. Joseph’s and was referred to as the ’heart and soul’ of the hospital. She was a brilliant and generous person who was honored by everyone and this award recognizes people who represent the ideals espoused by Sister Patricia Ann.”

Smith won a Lifeline Achievement award.

"It's an honor to receive the Sister Patricia Ann Award," said Smith. "Sister Patricia Ann was a clear example of the mission of our organization and I've always strived to live up to her standards. The bottom line is being a compassionate leader and healer."

Smith started Franciscan Health Support in 1985 with Dr. Thomas Aiello in response to a need for in-home health care. First, respiratory care and home medical equipment were provided. 31 years later, Franciscan has grown to include a licensed home care agency, medication management, Lifeline Medical Alert, sleep centers, and elder care. Franciscan serves 24 counties in New York and three in Pennsylvania.

In addition, Smith served as Vice President of St. Joseph's Hospital for 22 years. During his time there, he started the Cardio-Pulmonary Rehabilitation program, Sleep Laboratories, Better Breathing Program, and the Certified Homecare Agency and oversaw various other departments. Smith retired from the hospital in 2015 but continues to oversee departments of the hospital and he remains involved in several projects and initiatives.

Other winner include: Syracuse resident Barbara Ahlstrin, RN, who works in the emergency department, is the nursing award recipient. Nutritional Services employee Stephen Jackson, from Syracuse is the employee recipient, and Dr. Maryellen Lewis, from Syracuse, a physician at our Primary Care Center West, is the physician recipient. Camillus resident Jacquelyn Gonza, RN, nursing unit 3-1, is the other Lifetime Achievement recipient.

This is the 28th anniversary of the awards, which were established in memory of Sister Patricia Ann Mulherin, a hospital administrator from 1969 to 1987.