Palm to be given Brotherhood Award

LEWISTOWN – Phyllis L. Palm, of Lewistown, is the recipient of the 2013 Brotherhood Citation Award, presented annually by the Mifflin County Roundtable of Christians and Jews.

The announcement was made Thursday during a luncheon meeting hosted by the Roundtable at Burnham OIP.

“I’m extremely honored and very humbled with this recognition,” Palm said. “It’s something that you just don’t expect to happen.”

A statement from the Roundtable said Palm is known for her compassion, friendship, organizational skills, ability to listen and love for her family, among other things.

“Phyllis’ top priorities have always been her family, her friends and service to the community,” the letter states.

Palm is a 1960 graduate of Kishacoquillas High School and graduated from the Lewistown Hospital School of Nursing in 1963. She continued her education at Penn State University, where she graduated in 1986. Palm also attended and graduated from the College of American Health Care Executives.

After nursing school, Palm was employed as a hospital supervisor in Virginia Beach and at Lewistown Hospital. She also served as the director of nursing at Brookline Nursing Facility and LPN instructor for the Mifflin-Juniata County Vocational School. Palm worked at Lewistown Hospital before retiring in 2006, serving in several positions including coordinator of obstetrics/pediatrics, vice president of patient care and vice president of operations.

When she retired from the hospital, Palm said she thought about what she wanted to do with her time and started to realize how important the community was to her. She decided to give back and serve in ways that allowed her to see positive changes happening.

“I chose quite a few opportunities,” she said, “Each opportunity that I have chosen has provided me with new experiences, new insight, new knowledge. New ways of recognizing the good works that occur daily.”

Palm has been a Kiwanian since April 1995. She has served as secretary, vice president and president of the board. Through her work with Kiwanis, Palm assists with the elementary in-school reading program, pancake festival at the annual Christmas parade, supplying backpacks for children in need and various fundraising projects. Palm was recognized for the second time as Distinguished Kiwanian for the 2009-2010 administrative year. In the past, she has been a forum presenter at Kiwanis Convention and the Region 3 Kiwanis 2010 Coordinator for Leadership Education.

She is also a United Way board member and served as the agency’s president, vice president and leadership chair in past years.

Palm has been a Kish Bank board member since 1999 and chairs three committees. She is a former S.C.O.R.E. advisor for persons interested in setting up small business.

Currently, Palm serves as chairperson on the MCIDC executive committee and on the Lewistown Hospital Alumnae Association Scholarship. She is also a regional advocate for the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences and serves on the Penn State Extension Advisory Board. She is also chairperson on the committee for a community college effort and for fundraising for the F.A.M.E. Capital campaign.

In addition to her local volunteerism, Palm sponsors 16-year-old Birtuken Bekele, of Ethiopia, through a Christian organization. The support began when Bekele was 5 years old.

Palm lives in Lewistown with her husband, Mike. Her son, Michael, and his wife, Donna, live in Washington Crossing. Palm has a granddaughter, Lindsey, and a grandson, Jackson. She is a member and deacon at Highland Park Presbyterian Church in Lewistown.

“(Palm) has devoted her time and skill to further her passions, promoting causes that provide education opportunities to individuals who need a helping hand. Phyllis is always available to offer support, guidance and friendship to those in need,” the letter states.

The letter continues, “It has been amazing to look into Phyllis’ great achievements – past and present – including the time, energy, commitment and unrelenting service to her family, her education, her church, her friends and her community.”

The Mifflin County Roundtable of Christians and Jews honors a man, woman or group annually through the Brotherhood Citation Award. The award recipient demonstrates, through religious, community or other humane expressions, the qualities that embrace brotherhood.

Palm will receive the award at a banquet scheduled to be held Feb. 26.