(Salisbury, MD.) Wilmore “Bunky” Sterling from Lower Shore Friends was recognized as the 2017 Outstanding Public Health Leader for WicomicoCounty at a ceremony held April 4, 2017 at the Fritz Health Center in Salisbury. The 21st annual award ceremony was held in recognition of National Public Health Week, April 3-9, 2017.
Sterling was recognized for his leadership and tireless efforts in providing peer support and recovery services to individuals with behavioral health disorders in our community. Sterling, known as “Bunky,” has served as Executive Director of Lower Shore Friend’s Wellness and Recovery Center since 1995. Under his direction, Lower Shore Friends was a pilot site in implementing Wellness and Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) classes. WRAP is an evidence-based, prevention and wellness process one can use to get well and stay well. Lower Shore Friends was one of the first in Maryland to implement smoking cessation classes for individuals with behavioral health disorders, through partnership with the health department Prevention program. In 2012, Lower Shore Friends expanded services to individuals with addiction disorders, and now offers one of the only support groups in the county for individuals in medicated assisted treatment programs.
In an effort to further promote wellness, Sterling established an exercise room that is accessible to clients and staff and enrolled Lower Shore Friends in the Healthiest Maryland Businesses initiative. As a result of this effort, Lower Shore Friends received an “On the Path” award at the 2016 Annual Maryland Workplace Health and Wellness Symposium.
“The Wicomico County Health Department is proud to collaborate with Lower Shore Friends through the coordination of Mr. Sterling,” said Lori Brewster, Health Officer for Wicomico County. “He is an example for all of us of how to care for those in need and how to work together to reverse community problems.”
Sterling is to be commended for his efforts to significantly improve the health of the most vulnerable in Wicomico County and for his accomplishment on being recognized as Wicomico County's 2017 Outstanding Public Health Leader. Several members of the Lower Shore Friends staff were present for the awards ceremony and Sterling graciously recognized each of them for the work they do every day.
In addition to The Public Health Leader award, two Health Officer’s Awards of Excellence were presented. School Based Wellness Center staff were recognized for their work establishing a new Wellness Center site at Wicomico High School, and members of the COAT team were recognized for their assistance with the heroin and opioid epidemic.
Tracey Age was recognized as the 2016 Wicomico County Health Department Employee of the Year.
2017 Public Health Leader Wilmore Sterling and Lori Brewster, Health Officer.