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Volunteer Heroes


WTFC volunteers receive awards

Use1Published by The Suffolk News Herald.

The Western Tidewater Free Clinic had two volunteers honored at the 43rd annual Hampton Roads Volunteer Achievement Awards hosted by Volunteer Hampton Roads in April. Stephie Broadwater and Virginia Savage were honored with Best of Board award and Individual Adult Volunteer award, respectively. “I was very pleased to win the award, but in truth the recognition that means the most is the fact the clinic is still open and still supported,” Savage said. “The clinic doing well is the best recognition.”

“I was completely surprised and thrilled about winning the award,” Broadwater said. “The real win for me was the staff and team at WTFC nominating me.” Both Broadwater and Savage have been volunteering with the Western Tidewater Free Clinic since before the clinic opened its doors to patients. Savage was the president of the Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community at the time, and she was a part of the planning committees that led to the opening of the clinic on June 21, 2007.

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Volunteer Stephen Champions the Clinic

StevenMeet Stephen Tyler Menefee, one of our dedicated data entry volunteers. Stephen is from Chesapeake and graduated from Nansemond-Suffolk Academy in 2009. He graduated from Cornell University this past May with a degree in Biological Engineering and Material Science Engineering. He is currently applying and interviewing at medical schools, and would love to study medicine in the local area. Since graduation, Stephen has been volunteering at the Clinic because he saw the great need many residents of Western Tidewater had for primary medical care and wanted to support the Clinic’s mission to help fill that need. But Stephen recently took his dedication to the Clinic to championship levels!

On October 1, Stephen participated in the Ironman Maryland Triathlon which included 140.62 miles of swimming, biking, and running through Cambridge, Maryland. To prepare for the race, Stephen trained for 7 months, 3 hours each day. Training included biking up to 40 miles, half-marathon distance runs, and endurance training through a martial arts academy. Not only did Stephen plan to complete this arduous race, he also used it as an opportunity to raise money and awareness for the Clinic. As part of his Ironman Triathlon, Stephen started a GoFundMe page with 100% of the proceeds to be donated to the Clinic. Friends and family supported his efforts and his fundraiser was an incredible success: he raised $2,000 to provide medical care to our patients! With our annual cost of patient care currently at $1,225, Stephen’s donation will change 2 patients’ lives at WTFC.

Stephen finished the race in 13 hours, 34 minutes, 4 seconds, placing 1,781 out of 2,572 athletes. With Hurricane Mathew threatening the coast, the race had to be modified. Athletes were unable to compete in the 2.4 mile swim and the bike distance had to be shortened. Although disappointed that the weather did not cooperate, Stephen is still glad to have participated and is thankful for the donations people gave to the Clinic on his behalf. Stephen says, “I believe this race changed me. It put the hardships of the race in perspective by making me think about all of the people facing real hardships in life. The Clinic does incredible work helping members of my community and I am thankful for the opportunity I had to further support its mission.”

Thank you, Stephen, for being a true champion for the Clinic!

2016 Volunteers of the Year

Thank You VolunteersFifty WTFC Volunteers gathered at the Planter's Club in Suffolk. Volunteers of the year were honored and included Deborah Dyke (General Volunteer of the Year), Chris Work (Medical Professional of the Year), Dennis Alder (Medical Professional of the Year), Dr. Richard Whalen (Medical Doctor of the Year). Thank you to each of our volunteers who's passion is to see WTFC provide the best to some of Western Tidewater's most vulnerable patients.

Thank you to our 2015 Volunteers of the Year!

Vols of Year 2015_web

Over 100 Western Tidewater Free Clinic volunteers, board members, and employees attended the 8th annual Volunteer Picnic Sunday, May 3, 2015 at the Planter’s Club in Suffolk. Volunteers of the Year were honored and included Sharon Sheffield, MD (Medical Volunteer of the Year), Laura Swafford, RN (Health Professional of the Year), and Libby Holdstein, RN, (Health Professional of the Year) pictured. Other award winners, not pictured: Leroy Howell, Sr., DDS (Dentist Volunteer of the Year), Kay Stephenson (General Volunteer of the Year), Sharon Stull, RDH (Dental Professional of the Year), and Michele Teemer (General Volunteer of the Year).

Meet Pat Mann: A Teacher of Volunteerism

Mann Family

Patricia Mann is many things – a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a retiree, and a volunteer – just to name a few. Most importantly, however, she is a teacher. This is not a title commonly attributed to Pat. She did not go to school to teach children or spend years in the school system. Yet, it is clear that Pat is a teacher.

According to the Oxford Dictionaries, to teach is to “cause (someone) to learn or understand something by example or experience.” It is this definition by which we see Pat as a teacher. She is a teacher of volunteerism.

In 2006 Pat retired from the Town of Windsor. However, being a 'people person,' she soon missed her daily interaction with others. So in early 2007, Pat became a volunteer at Western Tidewater Free Clinic and, in doing so, fulfilled a long-term desire to dedicate her time to volunteer work.

Pat took on several responsibilities at the Clinic including data entry, medical records, and even grocery shopping for volunteer snacks and essentials. In addition to these duties, Pat also participated as a member of the Volunteer Committee.

One of the responsibilities of the Volunteer Committee is to plan the annual holiday party. Pat’s husband, Jim, became the first Mann family member to follow his wife’s example by volunteering to work at the party. Soon after, Jim was also helping Pat with the Clinic grocery shopping and delivery.

Pat and Jim have a daughter, Sam, who also volunteered at the holiday party as well as at the summer yard sale. In April 2007, Sam became a regular weekly volunteer in Eligibilty.

Then Sam’s son, Neal, became the Clinic’s first third-generation volunteer when he used his training as a pharmaceutical tech to help out in the Clinic pharmacy.

Pat Mann’s work ethic and generous spirit clearly inspired her family to find a productive outlet in volunteerism. Pat taught her family the value of being a volunteer by her actions, and she taught those who have witnessed her family’s dedication, the importance of leading by example. Every day that Pat is at the Clinic, she teaches us all that one person truly can make a difference.

The Mann family is pictured above, from left: Pat, Sam, Neal and Jim

2014 Volunteers of the Year

Vol Picnic Awards 2014Thank you to our 2014 Volunteers of the Year! As the lifeblood of Western Tidewater Free Clinic, our volunteers are also our "lifesavers!" WTFC volunteers, board members, and employees attended the 7th annual Volunteer Picnic recently at the Planter’s Club in Suffolk. Volunteers of the Year were honored and included (seated) Donna Edwards, RPh; Barbara Gietl, RN; Patricia Mears, RDH; (standing) Fran Alwood, Lynne Stockman, DO; Davis Gardner, DDS; and Marlene Everett.

Dr. Sharon Sheffield

Drsheffield2For Dr. Sharon Sheffield, volunteer work is a way to give back to the community and to continue services that she has been providing at her practice for years. An obstetrician/gynecologist who has practiced at OB-GYN Physicians, Inc. in Franklin since 1997, Dr. Sheffield began volunteering for the Woman’s Health Program at Western Tidewater Free Clinic in late 2010. Her invaluable efforts include providing care at the Clinic once a month and being available by phone, email, and fax.

WTFC Woman’s Health Program Case Manager Ginger Vincent, RN shared, “Dr. Sheffield has been a lifesaver to our patients and to me. She is always here with a smile on her face and patients love her!”