JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. –
An American Red Cross volunteer serving at Naval Health Clinic Charleston was awarded the Exceptional Volunteer Award for Service to the Armed Forces June 5, 2018, from the American Red Cross, Palmetto, South Carolina Region.
“To say that I am very surprised and humbled by this is an extreme understatement,” said Sharon Monheit. “I love serving our military and their families.”
For the past 43 years, Monheit has assisted thousands of service members, their families, patients and staff members alike at U.S. military treatment facilities around the globe.
“Sharon has been the lifeblood for Navy and Joint Base Charleston communities” said Dawn Devine, NHCC pharmacist, as she read the citation for Monheit’s award. “She is compassionate, creative and committed to Naval Health Clinic Charleston, Joint Base Charleston and the American Red Cross.”
Karen Cook, program manager for the Service to the Armed Forces, American Red Cross Palmetto, South Carolina Region, and Capt. Dale Barrette, NHCC commanding officer, presented Monheit the prestigious award in front of her husband, Larry Monheit, and her peers.
“Our volunteers are critical to the success of our mission,” said Cook. “Sharon is an excellent example of volunteerism and what the American Red Cross strives for.”
“Her limitless dedication and personal sacrifice have significantly contributed to the safety and the quality of the care we provide to our beneficiaries,” said Barrette.
Monheit joined the American Red Cross at Naval Hospital Portsmouth, VA, in 1975 when she moved to Norfolk, Virginia, with her husband, who was a storekeeper in the Navy.
She volunteered at Naval Hospital Portsmouth in the OB-GYN clinic, preparing patients for physical exams and assisting doctors as a “standby” during the exams.
Two years later, when she and her husband changed duty stations to Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut, her experience at Portsmouth compelled her to volunteer at Naval Hospital Groton, again in the OB-GYN clinic, until NHG’s Dental Clinic put out an “SOS” for help due to a shortage of dental technicians.
Monheit received training and was placed in the dental operatory assisting in four-handed dentistry. She was later advanced to dental surgery. This volunteer experience provided Monheit with the skills she needed to obtain a job in the civilian sector as a dental technician. And although she worked full-time, she continued to volunteer during her free time, teaching Catholic Confraternity of Christian Doctrine classes at the base chapel.
By 1979, Monheit was volunteering in the OB-GYN clinic at the Fort Gulick Hospital in Coco Solo, Panama. There, she also instructed CPR classes, and managed volunteer hours and records for all of the volunteers.
In addition to volunteering with the American Red Cross, Monheit served as the director of the Fort Gulick Catholic CCD Program, as treasurer of the Navy Wives Club Atlantic, and as a member of the Coco Solo Civic Council. In 1980, she was awarded the Bronze Panama Canal Honorary Public Service Award for her work in the Atlantic community.
The Monheit family landed at Naval Station Charleston in 1982. Monheit has been volunteering in various capacities at Joint Base Charleston's Naval Weapons Station ever since.
As a member of the All Saints Chapel in Goose Creek, she has volunteered as a Catholic CCD instructor and President of the Parish Council. She is currently the chapel’s Eucharistic Minister and Lector Coordinator.
She also supports the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital by collecting donations and participating in St. Jude’s annual Bike-A-Thon, an event sponsored by the Goose Creek Police Department.
For the past five years, Monheit has been a pillar for the NHCC Pharmacy, where she works alongside licensed pharmacists and pharmacist technicians to help process more than 1,000 prescriptions per day. She is a pharmacy dispatch volunteer, which means she brings checked refill prescriptions to their storage bins, retrieves processed refills from the back of the pharmacy for the pharmacy technicians, retrieves filled prescriptions from the “robot” and delivers them to the correct technicians, refills the “robots” with vials, takes written prescriptions to the “vault” as needed, fills plastic bins with caps and vials, brings used bins to the correct windows, and retrieves copies of prescriptions faxed from outside doctors.
She inprocesses patients at the NHCC Pharmacy check-in counter and often performs additional clerical and organizational duties that include assisting patients in filling out paperwork and distributing informational materials. She also serves as a model for NHCC’s print and digital marketing materials.
To commemorate her years of outstanding volunteer service, Naval Health Clinic Charleston nominated Monheit for the Joint Base Charleston 2018 Volunteer Excellence Award, which she won. She was recognized at the JBC Volunteer Award Ceremony April 18, 2018, at the Balfour Beatty Community Center in Goose Creek. Monheit was also honored by NHCC staff members April 19, 2018, at NHCC’s Volunteer Appreciation Award Ceremony.
“Sharon is Naval Health Clinic Charleston’s volunteer extraordinaire,” said Devine. “She is beloved for her enthusiasm and leadership, her energy and “can do” attitude. Her love of people and her altruistic nature make her the most deserving recipient of this award.”