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Lawson, center, is pictured following the Drake Award presentation with SeHealth Vice President of Finance Thomas Johnson, left, and Anderson.

Accounting Manager Jeanine Lawson was named the 2017 winner of the John D. Drake Distinguished Service Award, Southeastern Health’s (SeHealth) highest employee honor, and Director of Clinical Care Cynthia George was named the 2017 winner the W. Reid Caldwell Jr. Distinguished Leadership Award during surprise presentations at SeHealth’s annual service awards banquet held Tuesday, Feb. 27, in Southeastern Regional Medical Center’s cafeteria.

“Jeanine has been described by her co-workers as knowledgeable in every aspect of her job and the true definition of a leader,” said SeHealth President/CEO Joann Anderson, who made the surprise presentations. “She is recognized as a reliable asset by organizational leadership and is sought after for her professional thoughts and opinions.”

Lawson, who was also recognized for 30 years of service during the banquet, is the 31st person to be named winner of the Drake Award, which was established by the SeHealth Board of Trustees in 1988 to recognize exceptional service by employees. The Drake award was named in honor of the late John D. Drake, who retired as head cook in 1984 after 38 years of service.

To qualify for the Drake award, a SeHealth employee must demonstrate high standards for personal performance on the job, loyalty and dedication to the organization, an excellent attendance record, respect by fellow workers, leadership skills, and a caring attitude to fellow employees and guests of the organization.

To qualify for the Caldwell award, a SeHealth leader must serve at the director level or higher with five or more years of service and must exemplify the fulfillment of the mission, vision, values and standards of behavior of the organization while serving as a mentor to other leaders, removing barriers and contributing to a learning and advancing organization.

George, center, is pictured following the Caldwell Award presentation with SeHealth Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jason Cox, left, and Anderson.

“Cynthia is a leader who takes pride in our organization and shares that pride everywhere she goes,” said Anderson during the presentation. “She is a positive voice in the community and encourages everyone to make Southeastern Health their provider of choice. She works to determine what can be done to remove barriers and promotes ways to improve our organization and the health of our patients and communities. She mentors others to develop them into more effective leaders and her love of this organization is very evident in her daily routine.”

The Caldwell award was established in June 2016 in honor of SeHealth Government Affairs Officer Reid Caldwell. Since joining the organization in 1981 as a vice president, he has led by example by exhibiting integrity, honesty and ethical behavior throughout his career.

Lawson and Caldwell were awarded a framed certificate and an engraved watch as part of their respective awards.  Their names will also be added to plaques that are permanently displayed SRMC’s main corridor.

Lawson lives in Lumberton, with her husband, Michael, and their son, Mike.

George, who has worked for SeHealth for 42 years and also won the Drake award in 2005, lives in Chadbourn and has two grown children, Alfonza Jr. and Nicia.

Previous winners of the Drake award were: 1988, Julia Harris; 1989, Addie Mae Caple; 1990, Beatrice Leggett and Vashti Pittman; 1991, Thelma Jean Reeves; 1992, Paula McLean; 1993, Shirley Thompson; 1994, Sonya Oxendine; 1995, Terry Carter; 1996, Vera McDowell; 1997, Jimmy Page; 1998, James E. Jones; 1999, JoAnn Falls and Myrtle Oxendine; 2000, Patricia Davis; 2001, Sherri Hayes; 2002, Doris Madden; 2003, Mary Catherine Buie; 2004, Noel Bounds; 2005, Cynthia George; 2006, Rhonda Carter; 2007, Anne Marie Hendren; 2008, Myrtle Wilcox; 2009, Audrey Cox; 2010, Bryan Hilbourn; 2011, Merry Hardin; 2012, Gerard McRae; 2014, Jeff Edge; and 2015, Lisa A. Hunt.

The previous winner of the Caldwell award was Elizabeth Kirschling in 2016.

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