David Asherbraner

Manager, Asset Management/Transport

Frye Regional Medical Center
Hickory, North Carolina

What do you call someone who is dedicated to helping those least able to help themselves? Someone who encourages friends and co-workers to join him in his humanitarian efforts? If you ask Frye Regional Medical Center staff these questions, they would undoubtedly answer with one name: David Asherbraner.

Carol Stamper, RN, winning the Mercy Award
"Helping others is just in David's DNA."
mercy award winner ceremony

David is a living example of selflessness, quietly improving the lives of others in ways that preserve their dignity. When he hears about someone in need, his first response is always, “How can I help?” His second: “Is there more I can do?” Hospital COO Chris Fensterle says that, for David, “The world is not about him. It is about what he can do to serve others for a greater good.”

This winter, David noticed a woman visiting the hospital cafeteria early every morning, not to buy food but to get hot water to mix with a packet of instant oatmeal she brought with her. At first, he thought she was visiting a loved one, but she continued to show up for several weeks. During this same time, he also noticed a red bicycle in the parking garage and found it odd that anyone would be riding in such frigid temperatures. Then he saw the woman on the red bike. David chatted with her and learned she was homeless and sleeping in stairwells or outside in the bitter cold. So he mobilized a group of co-workers to help her find a place to live and stock it with basic necessities.

For nearly 20 years, David has volunteered at the Hickory Soup Kitchen, serving lunch to the less fortunate. But he doesn’t stop there. He also coordinates a monthly Frye Volunteer Day, inviting hospital employees to sign up to work at the soup kitchen. He plans and manages events to raise operating funds, and he often buys and delivers pizzas to some of the regulars on weekends when the kitchen
is closed.