The fourth annual Leo Vital Award for Outstanding Volunteerism was presented to Leona Fast, a retired nurse and educator, during National Volunteer Week at Morning Pointe of Chattanooga.
Ms. Fast teaches a weekly Bible study at the assisted living community and has done so for over three years now. “It’s is something I thoroughly enjoy,” said Ms. Fast. “Some of the ladies that attend have been with me since, without missing a Bible class.
Each year, employees of Morning Pointe of Chattanooga, where Leo Vital resides, select a volunteer for this special award; celebrating those who continue to make a difference in their work for the residents of Morning Pointe. Mr. Vital, a veteran nursing home and health care administrator has called Morning Pointe home for eight years. Mr. Vital served as hospital administrator and executive director of administration of nursing homes and hospitals in Tennessee, Georgia and Massachusetts for over 50 years. He has a master’s degree from Syracuse University.
The Morning Pointe staff nominated 90-year-old Mr. Vital in 2008 as the award’s namesake for his constant efforts to mentor young professionals and encourage them to pursue careers in health professions. Mr. Vital is the father of Greg A. Vital, founder and president of Morning Pointe and Independent Healthcare Properties.
Ms. Fast, a nurse and educator for 17 years for WellStar Health System in Atlanta and later for Northwestern University in Rocksprings, Ga., came to Morning Pointe after a fellow church member at Woodland Park Baptist was no longer able to conduct the Bible studies. She accepted the assignment and has been there ever since
“Even after last week’s lesson, a resident shared with me how she needed to make a tough decision and that my reading helped her make it,” explained Ms. Fast. “That is so encouraging.”
Ms. Fast loves her time with the residents and encourages anyone to get out there and volunteer. “I get as much out of it as they do. It’s very rewarding,” says Ms. Fast. “The residents love the extra attention from others who care.”
For Judy Scott, executive director of Morning Pointe of Chattanooga, Ms. Fast’s dedication shows just how much of a difference one volunteer can make in the lives of many. “Volunteers like Fast only add to the quality of care we provide and to recognize them with this special annual ‘Leo Vital’ award is so important,” adds Ms. Scott.
Pictured from left, Greg Vital, founder and president of Morning Pointe and Independent Healthcare Properties, Volunteer Leona Fast, 4th Annual Leo Vital Award winner, and Judy Scott, executive director of Morning Pointe of Chattanooga.