Fred Rottnek, MD, MAHCM, has been chosen to receive the 2006 Humanist of the Year (now termed Ethics in Action) award. This prestigious award was established 30 years ago by James S. McDonnell in honor of Jeff Hornback, then the Leader of the Ethical Society of St. Louis.

Dr. Rottnek’s life integrates the practice of medicine with his love of teaching, commitment to social justice, spirituality, and theology. His patients are the homeless and those incarcerated in St. Louis County. Dr. Rottnek works with many local homeless shelters and nonprofit agencies, providing direct, on-site health care services to people in shelters and other locations where they go to obtain goods and services needed for their day-to-day survival. In St. Louis County, he was the first physician to utilize community volunteers to establish a hospice environment for prisoners approaching death.

In addition to his work with the incarcerated and coordinating care for as many as 50 patients in an evening at a homeless shelter, he has organized many other physicians, nurses, psychologists, and social workers to use their time and talents to deliver health care to people living outside the fringes of the work-a-day world. He inspires a myriad of professionals to understand their importance and value to the patients they serve.

“The quality of all of our lives depends on the quality of the lives of those who have the least.” – Dr. Fred Rottnek