Dr. Jaime Zengotita, St. John's Hospital-Cassville chief of staff, received a Mercy Appreciation Award at the St. John's Mercy Service Appreciation Awards Banquet on April 7.
Zengotita was nominated for the honor by Linda Cooper, St. John's Hospital-Cassville quality resources.
"As chief of staff, Dr. Zengotita is highly respected," said Cooper. "While he is professional, he is always quick to recognize God's hand in his life."
On Feb. 3, at a hospital meeting, Zengotita told fellow co-workers, including Cooper, about helping a stranger on his way to work.
"He lives in Monett, and he was driving to work on one of those days when the temperature was 4 below and there was snow piled up on the side of the roadways," said Cooper. "I remember how humble he was when he was telling the story. He was so honored and excited that he got the opportunity to help.
"He said he had to give praise to the Lord, because something told him to turn right when he always turned left at the intersection near the football field and he came upon a woman walking in the road," said Cooper.
The woman was carrying a lunch pail and Zengotita assumed that she was walking to Tyson's. He passed her, but decided to turn around and ask where she was going and if she needed a ride.
"She told him she was going to work, but she was coming to Cassville," said Cooper. "She had called her daughter, but her daughter hadn't answered so she was walking to her daughter's house near the golf course to get a ride to Cassville."
While riding with Zengotita, the woman told him about her family and working at George's in Butterfield.
"He enjoyed that ride so much," said Cooper. "He was so thrilled to be able to be used like that. He said, 'Angels were looking over her, and the Lord utilized me for that because I never go that way.'
"It really made me think," said Cooper. "That is what St. John's is all about, and that is what Mercy is all about. It is really neat to have a Christian leader here like that. We have a lot of them, but that story really made him stand out."
In addition to serving as chief of staff at the local hospital, Zengotita was recently selected as the chair of the Medical Staff Council, which is the advisory committee for the five regional St. John's Health System hospitals. Zengotita, who has served St. John's for seven years, was unanimously elected to the position by 13 voting members of the council.
"Dr. Zengotita is an excellent, caring physician and is dedicated to providing quality medical services to his patients," said Doug Stroemel, St. John's Hospital-Cassville president. "He takes his responsibilities very seriously and is committed to meeting the healthcare needs of our community."
More than 60 St. John's staff members were nominated for the Mercy Appreciation Award. A committee selected 10 individuals to receive the award and a $500 gift in honor of the achievement.