A Long Beach woman is being honored by Fairhaven Memorial Services with the Oliver Halsell Care Award for her work in hospice, officials announced Tuesday.
Sherrie Montgomery left her position as a marketing officer to work in the hospice field after a friend was diagnosed with breast cancer 20 years ago. Montgomery spent Tuesday nights caring for her friend, developing a deep bond and witnessing hospice workers provide comfort and dignity.
It was the care of the hospice workers which inspired her to leave her job and join the healthcare community.
Now, Montgomery is the director of market development at Vitas Healthcare, a hospice care service with locations across the country. She oversees triage, manages patient care, and supervises a staff that services more than 400 terminally-ill patients across Orange County.
“Sherrie Montgomery is an exemplary human being, manager and employee,” Michael Alarcon, managing partner at Fairhaven Memorial Services in Mission Viejo, said in a statement. “She is driven by her altruism and never misses an opportunity to be kind to the next person. Her passion for her work and her unwavering efforts to improve the lives of employees and patients alike makes her the perfect recipient of our Oliver Halsell Care Awards.”
The Oliver Halsell Care Award, sponsored by Fairhaven Memorial Park and Mortuary which has facilities in Santa Ana and Mission Viejo, was introduced in 2012 as a way to celebrate local residents who positively impact Orange County by showing care and compassion through work or volunteer efforts. Winners come from a variety of backgrounds, including social work, hospice, private care, counseling, assisted living, nursing, therapy and volunteer work.
“It’s an honor to be recognized,” Montgomery said in a statement. “I’m very grateful for my team who nominated me for this award, and I’m touched that they think so highly of me and see me as a valuable instrument in helping others, although I feel that they should be the ones rewarded. The medical staff and the people who are doing the hands-on work are far more valuable.”
Montgomery also participates in charity events such as the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk and the Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer's.
In November 2017, Montgomery and six other recipients will receive their awards at Fairhaven's Oliver Halsell Care Awards ceremony in Mission Viejo.
Fairhaven will also make a donation on Montgomery’s behalf to the Vitas Community Connection, a charity that supports hospice patients by helping them pay bills and buy groceries, among other needs.
Above, left photo courtesy of Fairhaven.