PENDLETON --- The Tri-County Technical College Foundation named Oconee Memorial Hospital the 2016 recipient of its Philanthropist of the Year award.

            This is the Foundation's highest and most prestigious honor reserved for individuals, foundations, companies, trusts, organizations or other entities that have made a significant financial contribution, either cash or non-cash, to the Foundation to support the work of the College.

            Grayson Kelly, executive director of the Foundation, presented the award to Hunter Kome, president, and Pat Smith, chief nursing officer, at the College's Annual Report Luncheon held October 27.

"On behalf of the Tri-County Technical College Foundation, its board of directors and the College, I thank you for Oconee Memorial Hospital's gifts, for your commitment to improving healthcare within our community and for your support of our students and graduates," Kelly said. 

Oconee Memorial Hospital has been a loyal donor since September of 2000.  The Hospital's first gift named the Oconee Memorial Hospital Surgical Technology Center in Fulp Hall.  This naming created an endowment that supports the professional development of faculty in the Surgical Technology Department.

In 2005 and 2006, the Hospital made gifts to support the purchase of human patient simulators, helping to make it possible for the College's Health Education Division to be the first in the State to have a fully equipped virtual lab

            Some of the largest gifts received from the Hospital were in support of the "LPN to Professor" program - a collaborative arrangement between the Duke Endowment and the hospitals in Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens Counties.  This program allows RN students to work full-time while pursuing advanced nursing degrees.

            The Hospital's most recent major gift created an endowment for nursing excellence.  The purpose of this endowment is to support various needs of the nursing program, including faculty professional development activities, the purchase of equipment, and other priority needs.

Additionally, Oconee Memorial Hospital has sponsored the Foundation's Fall Classic Golf Tournament and has donated equipment. 

            To date, Oconee Memorial has given more than $607,000, giving the Hospital recognition on the College's prestigious Wall of Honor.