Life Changing Moments

Mary’s Roots are Showing

Mary (2)If you want to find out what makes somebody tick, just ask them where they’re from.

Most of our adult behavior, it seems, has roots in how and where we were raised. And that’s the secret to why Mary Lamb was recently selected for the Roper St. Francis President’s Humanitarian Award.

As manager of Rehab Services at Bon Secours St. Francis and Mount Pleasant hospitals, Mary is known within the hospital system as one of the most giving and caring people.

One of her co-workers put Mary into words by saying, “Healing the sick, beloved by her staff, encouraging and mentoring students, a proud wife and mother, a loyal and tireless Roper St. Francis family member – Mary is an example of humanity to us all.”

And not just because she’s a nice person, but because of what she does for others.


David Dunlap, President and CEO of Roper St. Francis, in presenting this prestigious award to Mary, said, “Mary is an angel on earth for the many things she does to support the system, her staff, the military, her co-workers, others in need, and her family. She is a steadfast rock for all of us.”

Here are just a few things about Mary: She throws Christmas and pizza parties for her staff at her home every year; gives special gifts for each staff member on their birthday; volunteers for health fairs; leads teams for Relay for Life; supports Water Missions International and Trident United Way’s Day of Caring; donates personal leave to staff in emergency situations and volunteers with the Boys Scouts. In addition, she organized a welcome home party for 40 Marines after their deployment overseas.

And that doesn’t count her professional accomplishments like three decades as a physical therapist, and being active with the South Carolina Physical Therapy Association.

Nor does it include all of the little things she does for people every day, the kind of things that make others want to “pay it forward” to someone else along the way.


“It’s all about my roots,” said Mary, who was born and raised in Ashland, Ky. “My husband says I was either raised in Mayberry or in Beaver Cleaver’s home. I had the most loving mother and father. And my older sister, Marilyn, was probably my hero.

“I had huge role models. My parents instilled in us right from wrong, treating everyone with respect and treating others the way you want to be treated.”

Now she’s celebrating 30 years of marriage and has recreated her close-knit childhood environment by having most of her family living on the same street in Mount Pleasant.

Mary, therefore, is the epitome of the kind of person Roper St. Francis likes to honor with its top annual award. And after 32 years on the job, Mary is still going strong.

“When I interviewed for this job it just felt right,” Mary said. “And it still does.”

By: Ken Burger, former Post and Courier sports columnist, prostate cancer survivor and local author.

Contact Ken at

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