Benjamin Schmid, MD (center), a gastroenterologist, receives the annual McAuley Clinic Gratitude Award from Thomas Gryzbek, Franciscan St. Margaret Health-Hammond president, during a program at the hospital Nov. 20. Schmid, who has been with the hospital for 34 years and volunteered at the clinic since it opened in 1996, said he was “very humbled” to receive the honor, adding, “I didn’t think I deserved it, but I try to do my best to help my patients.” Schmid also thanked the clinic’s staff for its assistance and his wife of 39 years, Ann, for “making me dinners at 10 or 11 at night, when I get home, sometimes.”
She was presented flowers for “sharing your husband with us,” Kathy O’Donnell, R.N., hospital physician liaison and Midwest Bariatric Institute manager, told her. Clinic manager Martha Kozub said she appreciates Schmid for “never turning us down, always seeing our patients and doing procedures they badly need and can’t get anywhere else.” She added, “You have a very generous and kind heart.” Gryzbek said he couldn’t thank Schmid enough for “what you do for God’s most needy.”
Gryzbek added, “You have made a difference in people’s lives, all because of the good you see in others. If it weren’t for you, some people would be lost out there.” Besides the plaque, Schmid received an assortment of keepsakes. Physicians receive the annual honor for volunteering at the clinic, which provides medical and referral services at minimal cost for needy Northwest Indiana residents. The award has been presented since 2008. McAuley, 5514 Hohman Ave., is under Franciscan St. Margaret Health’s auspices. For more information on clinic services, call (219) 933-2018.