Florida Hospital Flagler Foundation Honors Humanitarians of the Year

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PALM COAST, Fla., November 22, 2016 On Nov. 16, nearly 200 community members joined the Florida Hospital Flagler Foundation at the Hammock Dunes Club to honor orthopedic surgeon Dr. Dennis Alter and his wife Laurie as the Humanitarians of the Year.

This recognition is awarded annually by the Florida Hospital Flagler Foundation to recognize those who have made a substantial contribution to the community, both in personal time and energy, as well as financial support.

We are honored to celebrate Dennis and Laurie tonight. They both have done so much for our community and hospital, said John Subers, Florida Hospital Flagler Foundation executive director. They are truly wonderful and deserving humanitarians.

In 1992, the After family moved to Flagler County, where Dennis has served as an orthopedic surgeon for 24 years, playing a significant role in the growth of the community's health care. At Florida Hospital Flagler, he has served as chief of surgery, secretary and treasurer of the medical staff, vice-president of the medical staff and chief of staff. Additionally, he has served on Florida Hospital Flagler's board of directors for the past four years. Both Dennis and Laurie are founding members of the Florida Hospital Flagler Foundation 20/20 Society, a group of community individuals and corporations with a shared goal to raise $1 million by the year 2020 to aid in the advancement the local health care.

With a passion for those in need, Dennis has provided medical care for many in this community who are unable to pay, Subers said. When they first arrived in Flagler County, Dennis gave free sports physicals in the football locker room to several high school athletes who did not have health insurance. Each year, more students appeared and, eventually, more doctors and volunteers were needed. With Florida Hospital Flagler's involvement, it developed into a huge community outreach program and now we provide free sports physicals to hundreds of local athletes each year!

Supporting education is an important endeavor to the Alters, and each year, they award the Alter Family Leadership Scholarship to a college-bound Flagler Palm Coast High School graduate.

Laurie has also been very involved in the community and has supported the Flagler County School System for nearly a quarter of a century. She was president and vice-president of Flagler Palm Coast High School's School Advisory Councils (SAC) for many years. While president, she was instrumental in developing a strategic plan of action for determining how the SAC and parent-teacher organizations (PTOs) would distribute state awarded funds.

Since moving to Flagler County, Dennis and Laurie have been patrons of the Flagler Auditorium Performing Arts Center and Laurie has served as treasurer of the governing board.

Laurie is also a current member and past president of The Idlewood Club, a Flagler County women's organization founded in 1955 and devoted to community philanthropic endeavors.

The Alters are members of St. Thomas Episcopal Church and have served in various capacities from teaching Sunday School, to playing and singing in the folk choir, and membership on the vestry, as well as chaperoning youth group events, including a mission trip to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The Alters have also provided the resources to build homes for two families in Nicaragua and Jamaica.

Their faith is the foundation upon which their marriage, family and life are built, and they are richly blessed with five wonderful children, two terrific sons-in-law and one precious granddaughter, Subers said.

Previous Florida Hospital Flagler Foundation Humanitarians of the Year include: Peter and Sue Freytag (2015); Tony and Dottie Papandrea (2014); Charles M. Helms (2013); Kathy McKenna (2012); Annie W. Woodard (2011); Elmer C. Stainbrook (2010); and Jerald K. Tranzow (2009).

About Florida Hospital Flagler

Florida Hospital Flagler is a member of Adventist Health System, a faith-based health care organization with 46 hospital campuses and nearly 8,200 licensed beds in 10 states. With 99-beds, Florida Hospital Flagler is one of the six Florida Hospitals in Volusia and Flagler counties that composes the Florida Hospital East Florida Region. As the largest hospital system in the area, the Florida Hospital East Florida Region has 923 beds and more than 6,000 employees. With a mission to extend the healing ministry of Christ, the Florida Hospital East Florida Region collectively contributed nearly $120 million in benefits in 2015 to the underprivileged, the community's overall health and wellness and spiritual needs, and capital improvements.

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