Caregiver to frail, seriously ill people and their families wins business ethics award.

Lee County-based Hope HealthCare Services is the winner of the 2012 Uncommon Friends Business Ethics Award.

The award was announced Thursday night at “An Uncommon Evening,” a dinner held at Harborside Event Center, downtown Fort Myers.

The Uncommon Friends Foundation introduced the ethics award in 2006 to recognize a business with high standards of behavior at all levels of the organization.

Hope HealthCare Services cares for people who are frail, seriously ill, at the end of their lives or grieving a loss.The organization’s award application notes an ethical responsibility “to refrain from making ethical decisions on behalf of the patients, clients and families in our care.”

Samira Beckwith, president and CEO, elaborated on this at an ethics roundtable discussion held earlier Thursday. “If family members are arguing, we ask ourselves, ‘How can we support all of them?’ We don’t take sides.”

Age, ability to pay or sexual orientation also don’t influence whether care is given. Said Beckwith: “We’re the region’s safety net.”

Besides Hope HealthCare Services, the finalists for the award were Colliers International Southwest Florida, a full-service commercial real estate brokerage and property management firm with an office in Fort Myers, and Bonita Springs-based Ted Todd Insurance Agency, which represents Allstate Insurance Co. The finalists were selected from a pool of 23 nominees from across Southwest Florida.

The Uncommon Friends Foundation, a nonprofit established in 1993, is dedicated to lifelong character building among youth and business leaders. It promotes character education in schools, ethics in the workplace and historic preservation of the Burroughs Home and James Newton Archives.

It draws much of its inspiration from James “Jim” Newton, a longtime real estate developer in Lee County. Newton in the early 1920s began remarkable friendships with Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Dr. Alexis Carrel, and Charles Lindbergh and their wives. Before his death in 1999, Newton wrote the book “Uncommon Friends,” detailing these relationships and the character and abilities of these notables.