Memorial Hospital ER director to receive national humanitarian award


On June 25, Lorrie Sarver, an ER nurse and the director of the Memorial Hospital ER, will travel to Nashville, Tennessee to receive the Frist Humanitarian Award from the hospital’s parent company, HCA, for her work with children of men and women in prison.

“This award honors one exceptional individual in the entire company whose work and life reflects humanitarian values upon which HCA was founded 50 years ago,” said Bradley S. Talbert, Memorial Hospital president and CEO. “The exemplary service and selflessness that Lorrie demonstrates in her life challenges and inspires us all to serve others and live our company’s mission of caring for and improving human life.”

Sarver’s efforts started in 2011 when she spearheaded the Angel Tree Project at her church, New Life Church at Jacksonville. She received a list of names of children whose parents were serving time in prison and purchased and delivered them gifts in the name of their parent during a Christmas celebration.

However, helping those children once a year wasn’t enough for Sarver, so she began coordinating monthly field trips for the kids, including trips to the zoo, cookouts, ice cream outings and more. Sarver also wrote letters to the parents and included pictures of their children. While Sarver was implementing this program, she also rearranged her schedule to teach middle school-aged students from broken homes how to excel in school.

“These children have been disappointed by other people in their lives, and I don’t want to be a disappointment to them,” Sarver said. “I want to show them that someone cares about them. I want to be the glue that holds them together.”

 In addition, Sarver worked with the Florida Board of Nursing in 2015 to start a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program for 11th and 12th graders interested in entering the healthcare field. She also travels to prisons throughout the state on the weekends through a Prison Fellowship program. Through church services and words of encouragement, Sarver said she tries to restore hope to those affected by crime and incarceration.