United Way of the Midlands honored Lexington Medical Center’s Barbara Willm posthumously with its Humanitarian of the Year award on February 16 at the University of South Carolina Alumni Center.
The Humanitarian of the Year Award is given each year to individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership in philanthropic and human services. It is the highest single honor of philanthropic achievement in the Midlands.
“Barbara dedicated her life to serving others, including having been a community leader with United Way of the Midlands,” said Sara Fawcett, United Way of the Midlands President and CEO. “We are very grateful for everything she did to help South Carolinians lead healthy lives and honor her for her many contributions to the Midlands.”
A graduate of the University of South Carolina, Barbara began her career at Lexington Medical Center more than 35 years ago as an Operating Room nurse. She then helped open Lexington Medical Center’s community medical centers as Vice President of Community Medical Centers and played a vital role advocating for hospital programs and services throughout Lexington County as vice president of Development and Community Relations. In honor of her career and service, the Foundation Board of Directors established The Barbara Willm Fund to Provide Hope.
Barbara was a past board member of the United Way of the Midlands, chairing the Community Impact Committee. She was also part of the team that created SC Mission: Midlands, and her leadership and support were instrumental in the creation of United Way’s WellPartners Dental and Eye Clinics.
An advocate for the underserved, Barbara served as Chairman of The Free Medical Clinic Board, and as a member of the Transitions Homeless Recovery Center and Lexington County Economic Development Boards. She was a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
She was recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Cayce West Columbia Chamber of Commerce in 2019. In February 2020 she received the Mike Till Community Impact Award from the Lexington Chamber of Commerce. In March of 2020 Barbara was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Greater Irmo Chamber of Commerce, and in 2021 Governor Henry McMaster presented her with the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina’s highest civilian honor.
In working to serve our communities and make them better, Barbara made all of us better.