Angel Oak Award

The Angel Oak Award was established by the Kiawah-Seabrook Exchange Club in 2012 to recognize a volunteer who has made an outstanding contribution to the people or quality of life of Johns Island, Wadmalaw Island, Kiawah Island, and/or Seabrook Island. As a part of the award, the Exchange Club makes a $5000 donation to a local charitable organization or organizations of the recipient’s choice. The recipient will receive a remembrance and his or her name will be inscribed on the Angel Oak Permanent Trophy.

The award is recognized at the annual Angel Oak Awards Banquet at the Seabrook Island Club that includes a live band, guest speaker, wonderful meal and, best of all, great fellowship with Club members and their guests totaling over 150 people.

Any South Carolina resident performing volunteer services related to our local islands’ activities is eligible for the award. The award focuses on service to the target communities and, while service over time is considered, current year contributions are essential. Again, this award is for volunteer service to the people of the islands and not for those professionals who may also provide invaluable services.

2017 Angel Oak Award Winner

The 2017 Angel Oak Award recipient is Dr. Victor Agusta.  He has served as a volunteer primary health care physician at the Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic (BIFMC) since it opened its doors in 2008. The BIFMC has the mission of understanding and serving the health and wellness needs of uninsured, low-income adults who live or work on Johns, Wadmalaw, and James Islands. The clinic has served over 4000 patients since it opened in 2008 and has over 350 patient visits each month.

As one of the original volunteer physicians at the free clinic, Dr. Agusta dove right into the unfamiliar territory of treating an impoverished population. Rising to the challenge of working with a diverse population, he developed a deep sense of interconnection, patience, and compassion that earned him the trust and respect of both patients and colleagues alike. During a normal week, Dr. Agusta will see patients every Wednesday afternoon and sometimes as needed on Monday evenings. Since joining BIFMC, he has retrained himself as a first rate primary care physician and now spends 5 hours weekly on urology and primary care continuing medical education for state licensing. He has been instrumental in supporting the growth of the clinic as the number one recruiter of volunteer doctors and nurses.

Dr. Agusta takes great pleasure in his ability to counsel and connect with his patients, finding reward in the steady pace of physician-patient interactions. A lifelong teacher but also a student of life, he has always stressed the importance of the patient-physician relationship: educating but also learning from those he treats. For Dr. Agusta, treating the same patients over time and understanding their life experiences creates a level of trust necessary to deliver effective preventative primary care.

Dr. Agusta is a native of Brooklyn, New York and attended St. Johns University and received his M.D. from the University of Rochester School of Medicine. He had residences at Hartford Hospital, Hartford Connecticut and the University of Virginia where he received an M.S. Degree in Surgery. He joined the U.S. Air Force as a Medical Officer but was attached to the U.S. Army. He served a tour in Vietnam with the 1st Air Cavalry Division as a Battalion Surgeon and as a General Surgeon with the 95th Evacuation Hospital.

Dr. Agusta practiced medicine in Lancaster, PA for 30 years and was a principal in the Urological Associates of Lancaster. He was on the Board of Lancaster General Hospital where he was President of the Medical Staff and Chief of Urology. The Urology Department at Lancaster General was ranked among the top 50 in the U.S. by U.S. News and World Report. He was very active with the Southeast Lancaster Health Center which provided free services to those in need. After retirement, he volunteered at the Lancaster General Hospital Urology clinic and was awarded an Outstanding Teacher Award. He was Vice-President of the Lancaster Medical Society, on the Board of Lancaster Catholic High School, and coached his children’s softball and baseball teams.

Dr. Agusta has owned a property on Seabrook Island since 1979 and has been a full time resident since 2010. He has served on the Seabrook Island Property Owners Association Board of Directors, the Hidden Oak Regime Board, and the Greenspace Conservancy Board.   He was also a volunteer at Our Lady of Mercy Outreach Mission. Dr. Agusta has been married to his wife Carol for 52 years and they have three children (Victor, Jr., Michael, and Stefanie) and six grandchildren.

Nomination Process for 2018

Next summer, nominations will be submitted using the Nomination Form on this website and may include up to two (8 ½ x 11 inch) pages of pertinent supplemental material such as news articles, brochures, and letters of recommendations.

Completed forms will be submitted to the Angel Oak Committee by sometime in October (to be announced this summer) directly to a committee member or to Kiawah-Seabrook Exchange Club, Box PMB-J, 130 Gardener’s Circle, Johns Island, SC 29455. Alternately, nominations can be submitted as a scanned electronic document and emailed to alan9631@comcast.net

The forms can be accessed using the “Angel Oak Award Forms” tab below this tab.

The award recipient will be notified in December and invited to attend the next awards banquet probably sometime in April of 2019 to formally receive the award and to be recognized by the Exchange Club Members and their guests.

 

If you have questions, contact:
Alan Armstrong at 843-768-9252 or alan9631@comcast.net