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April 30, 2008
  Jessica Michan (832) 355-3791

St. Luke's Employee Community Corps Receives
President's Volunteer Service Award

HOUSTON - St. Luke's Employee Community Corps, a volunteer group started by St. Luke's Episcopal Health Charities in early 2007, has received The President's Volunteer Service Award for organizing hundreds of volunteer hours at The Beacon in downtown Houston and The Women's Center in Montgomery County.

"Our mission is to contribute to our local Houston-area communities though volunteer efforts with organizations like The Beacon and The Women's Center," said Patricia Gail Bray, PhD, executive director, St. Luke's Episcopal Health Charities. "St. Luke's Community Corps is honored to receive this award and proud of our dedicated volunteers."

Each second Saturday of the month, St. Luke's Employee Community Corps volunteers serve approximately 400 homeless people in downtown Houston at The Beacon, a center that offers hot meals, clothing, shower facilities and more.

Vanessa Bailey, a monitor technologist at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, brought her 17-year-old son Cameron to The Beacon with her last July. "I wanted to set a good example. I could have just dropped him off, but I wanted to show him that Mom can do it, too!"

Volunteers also help at The Women's Center, a private non-profit organization in The Woodlands that provides safe shelter, crisis intervention, counseling, and support services to survivors of family violence, sexual assault and abuse in Montgomery and surrounding counties.

"It doesn't take a lot of time to come out and help those who are less fortunate," said volunteer Bridgette Black, Medical Services administrative secretary, St. Luke's Episcopal Health System.

A recommendation letter from the White House and a certificate for the service hours provided by volunteers was given to the St. Luke's Employee Community Corps for their contributions to The Beacon and The Women's Center.

"We are grateful to receive recognition as a group that extends our healing mission into the Diocese community to fill unmet needs and advance community health," said The Rt. Rev. Dena A. Harrison, Bishop Suffragan for the Episcopal Diocese of Texas and board chair for St. Luke's Episcopal Health Charities.

About the Award:

In 2003, President Bush created the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation to find ways to recognize the valuable contributions of volunteers. The President's Council on Service and Civic Participation created the President's Volunteer Service Award program as a way to thank and honor Americans who, by their demonstrated commitment and example, inspire others to engage in volunteer service.

The President's Volunteer Service Award recognizes individuals, families and groups that have achieved a certain standard – measured by the number of hours served over a 12-month period or cumulative hours earned over the course of a lifetime. To date, the President's Council has partnered with more than 76 Leadership Organizations and more than 14,000 Certifying Organizations to bestow more than 700,000 awards to the nation's deserving volunteers.

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St. Luke's Episcopal Health System
( includes St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital in the Texas Medical Center, founded in 1954 by the Episcopal Diocese of Texas; St. Luke's The Woodlands Hospital; St. Luke's Episcopal Health Charities, a charity devoted to assessing and enhancing community health, especially among the underserved; and KS Management Services, LLC, overseeing 18 area clinic locations. St. Luke's Sugar Land Hospital is under construction, scheduled to open in 2008, and St. Luke's Clear Lake Hospital is scheduled to open in 2010. Plans are underway for St. Luke's Lakeside Hospital in The Woodlands. St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital is home to the Texas Heart® Institute, which was founded in 1962 by Denton A. Cooley, MD, and is consistently ranked among the top 10 cardiology and heart surgery centers in the nation byU.S. News & World Report. Affiliated with several nursing schools and two medical schools, St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital was the first hospital in Texas named a Magnet hospital for nursing excellence, and twice has been honored with the Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™ by HealthGrades, a leading independent company that measures healthcare quality in hospitals. The Health System has been recognized byFORTUNE as among the "100 Best Companies to Work For" and by theHouston Business Journalas a top employer in Houston.

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