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Beckley VAMC dedicates Fitness Center in memory of beloved nurse

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BECKLEY, W.Va.(WVVA) – A beloved and respected nursing colleague was recently honored at the Beckley VA Medical Center (VAMC) when the new employee fitness center was dedicated in her memory.

Sherry Richardson’s name is adorned on a plaque in the newly renovated employee fitness center at the Beckley VAMC. 

Sherry, who passed away in 2016, was the former coordinator of the Employee Wellness Program. Sherry, an RN, worked in various departments of the Beckley VAMC, including primary care and the call center.

Sherry’s son and Army Veteran, JT Richardson works at the Beckley VAMC as an advanced medical support specialist, was completely surprised by the dedication ceremony.

“I really can’t put into words what the dedication means to me,” he says, “I always saw how much the VA and employee wellness meant to my mom behind the scenes.”

JT recalls the “tireless hours” his mom spent planning events, such as the VA2K Walk & Roll, meant to raise awareness for Veteran homelessness. She even volunteered her time to write the grant used for the fitness center equipment.

“What meant the most was the lasting legacy she has left; to hear what she meant to so many people and how she impacted their lives,” JT said.

Sherry’s vision was for all employees to be as healthy as possible, not just to benefit themselves, but also to serve Veterans to their fullest potential. She was a mentor and friend to other nurses, always providing her support and skills.

Her friend and fellow RN Sherri Burleson recalled her as “smart, strong, independent, resourceful, hardworking, caring, and dependable.”

“She was a woman on a mission to serve our Veterans. She was devoted to her job but also to her family and friends. She worked long hours and sacrificed many things without a second thought.  When Sherry became ill, we talked at great length about things, but she never complained.  That was the kind of person she was.   She was the most loving, caring, and selflessness person I have ever known,” Sherri said.

Current Employee Wellness Program Coordinator and Physical Therapy Assistant Amanda Miller took the reins after Sherry’s passing. She was determined to fulfill Sherry’s dream of a new fitness center and felt it only right to dedicate it to Sherry’s legacy.

“It may have taken some time to accomplish this, but it shows that hard work and determination pay off. It also shows that a good mentor and leader can continue to lead long after they are gone.”

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