In recognition of his exemplary international humanitarian service, Greg Hodgson, director of the Global Health Initiative, received the annual Avista Adventist Hospital Humanitarian Award. Established several years ago, the award was presented last December by Dennis Barts, CEO of the Louisville-based health institution.

Hodgson, who returned from a visit to Haiti the day before, said he was accepting the reward in recognition of the efforts of scores of volunteers, physicians and medical professionals who devote their time and resources to helping others. Hodgson also expressed appreciation for their commitment to the “service of the healing ministry of Christ.”

Hodgson noted that the occasion coincided with the Christmas season when we remember the gift of Christ, and said that “helping those who cannot repay us—that’s the Spirit of Christmas.”

Hodgson’s recognition occurred as a surprise, he said. The 2015 award comes in the 10th year of Global Health Initiative’s activities in Peru, Rwanda, Nepal and Haiti. Every year dozens of volunteers from Colorado-based Centura Health hospitals donate their skills, time and resources assisting in providing services in countries with acute need of health services.

Barts, who is also involved with providing administrative support to a GHI project at Clinica Adventista Ana Stahl, located on the shores of the Amazon River in Iquitos, Peru, observed Hodgson in action and said that “Greg is recognized for his calming presence” as he coordinates a program requiring management skills in difficult circumstances with a variety of personalities engaged in each project.