Inaugural Civilian Appreciation Day held at Naval Hospital Bremerton

Story Number: NNS140711-03Release Date: 7/11/2014 1:10:00 AM

By Douglas H Stutz, Naval Hospital Bremerton Public Affairs

BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- Approximately 400 civilian employees and more than 100 contractors of Naval Hospital Bremerton were honored with a day of their own during the command's inaugural 'Civilian Appreciation Day,' July 10.

"This is the time to celebrate the tremendous efforts, knowledge and contributions made by our civilian staff. Naval Hospital Bremerton wants our civilian staff to know that words cannot express our gratitude for their service," said Lt. Cmdr. Leslie R. Councilor, NHB Command Managed Equal Opportunity (CMEO) officer.

According to Councilor, the CMEO and Command Assessment Team(s) wanted to address issues from the last command climate survey and show staff member civilians that the command leadership understands the trials that the civilian staff faced in the past year.

"With the furlough and downsizing of the Navy, NHB understands that these changes can be taxing on our civilians. The NHB military staff can empathize with their challenges and wanted to ensure that their hard work and tenacity for our patients and Navy medicine are not going unnoticed. We want all civilians to know that we appreciate their hard work and dedication to the military," said Councilor.

Councilor notes that holding such an event like this helps to bridge the relationship between the military and civilians on the staff. Many civilians have served in the military. It is also not uncommon for some civilians to help mentor and tutor younger Service members in their career.

"Civilians are the foundation of the command. They are the bridge from the past to the present to the future. Civilians carry the torch of knowledge. They bring spirit and dedication in all they do," said Lt. Cmdr. Timothy Neher, of the Radiology Department and master of ceremonies for the event.

"Our civilian staff provides the necessary continuity and we would simply not have much success in what we do without them. They set the tone. The past year has been hard to deal with for all of us, but especially for our civilian staff who carried the burden in dealing with the furlough and sequestration. They are well-deserved to be recognized today," said Capt. Christopher Quarles, NHB Commanding Officer.

The event also provided the perfect opportunity to announce Ms. Patricia Whittaker as the NHB Senior Civilian of the Quarter; Ms. Mona Sherlock of Radiology's Mammography Suite as Civilian of the Quarter; and Mr. Kevin Cook of Pharmacy as Contract Provider of the Quarter.

"Oh my God, I was completely shocked. This was very nice and very special to get recognized for the contributions to the command," said Whittaker. "Being selected as Senior Civilian is a rewarding surprise. I'm humbled by the voting and support."

Sherlock attests that Radiology is coming out of the dark and taking over the Civilian of the Quarter competition.

"We had MRI technician Scott McGibbon before and now me! They don't call me 'Mammo Mona' for nothing. I think that when you love what you do and do what you love, it's easy to give it your all every day. I'm honored and very surprised to be selected," said Sherlock.

NHB traditionally holds a host of recognition events through the calendar year including American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month in November; Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April; Black History Month in February; Bicycle Month in May; Men's Health Awareness in 'Movember'; Quit Tobacco Day on May 31; Women's History Month in March; Medical Assistance Week in October; Asian Pacific Heritage Month in May; Earth Day in April; Patient Safety Awareness Week in March; Alcohol Awareness Month in April; Navy Nurse Week in May; Holocaust Remembrance Week in April; Suicide Prevention Week in September; and Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April; Hispanic Heritage Month in October; Women's Equality Day in December; Children's Dental Health Month in March; Energy Action Month in October; Certified Nurses Week in April; National Nutrition Month in March; and Social Worker Month in March.

Now there's another group added to the list.

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