According to a news release, the award is given to a hospital board member who is a recognized leader in the community and in his or her own business or profession; has contributed time and talent to bettering the hospital and other health care services available to the community; has brought about specific and positive changes that have advanced health care services in the community, has increased public attention to the health care needs of the community and has created public concern for meeting those needs.
"Lee Smith is admired and respected by all who have the privilege of knowing him," said J. Larry Read, president/CEO of University Health Care System. "He is truly one of Augusta's most distinguished citizens, one of University Hospital's greatest ambassadors and a real crusader for patients."
Smith is president/CEO of the nonprofit Community Foundation of the Central Savannah River Area, which has awarded more than 3,000 grants totaling upwards of $20 million since 1998.
He has been a member of University Hospital Boards since 1985, and currently chairs the University Hospital Board of Trustees.