Release Date: 8/4/2010
Nurse anesthetist honored with inaugural 'Spirit of St. Anthony' Award
Eddie Skaggs, a nurse anesthetist, recently received the first Spirit of St. Anthony Award from St. Anthony's Medical Center's Charitable Foundation Physician Ambassadors. Pictured from left: son Adam Skaggs, wife Liz Skaggs, Eddie Skaggs, daughter Amanda Skaggs and daughter Abbie Skaggs.
Eddie Skaggs has spent his fair share of time in the glare of spotlights – both in his role as a nurse anesthetist in the operating room and on stage as a local musician.
But Skaggs never has been one to bask in the limelight. To the contrary, the 14-year employee of St. Anthony’s Medical Center has dedicated himself to working behind the scenes to make life better for those less fortunate – even for people a continent away.
Skaggs has done extensive volunteer work in Honduras for the past 10 years and has raised thousands of dollars to support an orphanage there.
On Aug. 4, Skaggs’ humble humanitarian efforts were recognized as he was honored by St. Anthony’s Medical Center’s Charitable Foundation Physician Ambassadors with their first Spirit of St. Anthony Award.
The award was established to recognize outstanding individuals and groups that:
- perform philanthropic and/or humanitarian work in the community, the nation or the world, in partnership with St. Anthony’s Medical Center
- affirm the mission of St. Anthony’s by placing the patient first in everything they do
- sustain Christ’s healing ministry by aiding the sick, the poor, and the underserved
- serve the spiritual, emotional and physical needs of mankind in a manner that upholds the dignity of human life and the faith-based beliefs of the Catholic Church.
More than 100 of his co-workers applauded as Skaggs received a plaque in a ceremony conducted in the lobby of St. Anthony’s John K. Pruellage Heart & Vascular Center, just steps from the operating rooms where he has performed years of dedicated service. Joseph Lipic, chairman of St. Anthony’s Charitable Foundation; Joseph Forand, M.D., a member of the board of the Charitable Foundation; William Morris, M.D., chairman of St. Anthony’s Physician Ambassadors; and Paul Young, M.D., chief of Neurosurgery at St. Anthony’s, delivered remarks at the event. Members of Skaggs’ family also were on hand, including his son Adam, who works as an anesthesia tech at St. Anthony’s.
“Eddie has distinguished himself as an excellent anesthetist, educator and innovator,” said Paul Young, M.D., chief of Neurosurgery at St. Anthony’s. “But most importantly, everyone knows him as a generous and caring human being who tirelessly gives of himself. Anyone who knows Eddie knows that he represents the true spirit of this hospital.
“Eddie is the kind of person who leaves everyone he meets impressed and somehow better off,” Dr. Young said. “I can’t think of many people who have inspired me more in my life than Eddie Skaggs. He is a natural for this award.”
A former firefighter, paramedic and emergency room nurse in St. Louis, Skaggs’ other passion is music. He and his wife of 30 years, Liz, live in High Ridge and have performed throughout the St. Louis area.
Skaggs, who was unaware he was to receive the recognition, told the crowd he was honored to be the first recipient of the award.
“I’ve never been first at anything good in my life – second or third, maybe, but not first – so this is really special,” he joked. “Seriously though, I want to thank you for letting me share life with all of you. It’s a great thing to be a part of St. Anthony’s.”
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