St. Vincent’s doctor honored with patriotic award

Published 3:29 pm Tuesday, May 29, 2018

By J.R. Tidwell


Dr. David Elliott of St. Vincent’s Chilton was presented with an Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESRG) Patriotic Employer Award on May 15.

An employee, Capt. Jessica Knizel, nominated Elliott for the award. Capt. Knizel and Maj. Nancy Waller (retired), the District 6 area chair for ESRG, were on hand to deliver the award to Elliott during a ceremony held at the hospital.

Capt. Knizel is a Reservist in the 908th Aeromedical Staging Squadron out of Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery. She nominated Elliott for the award because of his willingness to work with and around her schedule of duties with the Air Guard.

“I have worked for St. Vincent’s and Team Health for awhile now,” Capt. Knizel said. “I ended up seeing an opening down here, and I grew up down on the lake. I saw an application opportunity and set up an interview.”

Capt. Knizel said Elliott was very accommodating of her and made her feel at ease even after being forced to show up to her interview at St. Vincent’s wearing her uniform.

Capt. Knizel was hired on at the hospital, and her duties with the Air Guard eventually forced her to be away from the hospital longer than anticipated. Still, Elliott and his team worked around her schedule.

“I was supposed to be on 30-day orders, but it got extended to 300-day orders,” she said. “He has been supportive, and so has the whole team. They keep involving me in the process with all the meetings and training I need to take. I got the same training that everyone else got, and that doesn’t always happen. I will be able to come back and work whenever I am done.”

Elliott was not told he was receiving the award before being brought to the ceremony, so the presentation came as a surprise.

“It’s an extreme honor,” he said. “(Jessica) is great to work with. I wish we could work with her more. I appreciate what she’s doing for the country. She’s a perfect employee.”

Elliott was the medical director for the emergency room at St. Vincent’s before stepping down from the role on Dec. 31. He remains at the hospital as a staff ER physician.

“I love working in the rural communities,” he said.