Local hospital administrator and community volunteer Patricia Kendall has been named San Rafael's "Citizen of the Year." She accepted her award Monday at a San Rafael City Council meeting, expressing surprise and appreciation.
"I'll continue to do more to really earn it," Kendall said. "It makes you realize you need to keep contributing."
Kendall is the 12th recipient of the Richard P. O'Brien and Mary Ferrario O'Brien Citizen of the Year Award. She will receive $2,500 and special recognition March 14 at the San Rafael State of the City dinner.
Kendall started as an emergency room nurse and has been the medical group administrator for Kaiser Permanente's San Rafael Medical Center for more than 20 years.
She's lived in San Rafael since 1973.
During her time in San Rafael, she's served as chair of the North Bay Leadership Council and is one of the founding members of the Healthy Marin Partnership. She was also part of a training program in the '80s that helped train local firefighters to be paramedics.
San Rafael fire Chief Christopher Gray said Kendall continues to be a huge help to city personnel and those they serve.
"Lives have been saved and people have been helped for over 30 years because of this woman and her strength, courage and conviction," Gray said.
Created in March 2001 with an endowment in honor of former planning commissioner Richard O'Brien and his wife, Mary Ferrario O'Brien, the annual Citizen of the Year award recognizes a person in San Rafael "who has made exceptional contributions to the city, making it a better place to live or work."
Past recipients include Carolyn Lenert, president of the Santa Margarita Neighborhood Association and current fire commissioner; Albert Boro, former mayor; Margie Belrose, executive director of the performing arts school and theater The Belrose; Patty Garbarino, president of Marin Sanitary Service; artist Phyllis Thelen and her husband Max for their work with the nonprofit group Art Works Downtown; the late San Rafael historian Lionel Ashcroft; and community volunteer and business leader Sandy Greenblat.