PHOTO: Dianne Morris (center) is the 2021 Mae French Outstanding Older Worker Award recipient. The annual award recognizes a Mountain Empire Older Citizens employee at least age 55 who demonstrates exemplary service, kindness and commitment in the workplace and community. With her are MEOC Executive Director Michael Wampler and Older Worker Program Director Carrie Stallard.
As coordinator of the Mountain Laurel Cancer Support & Resource Center, Dianne Morris provides much-needed assistance to local cancer patients, whether by arranging liquid nutritional supplement deliveries, providing financial support to help with cancer-related expenses or presenting cancer-related education to the community.
However, Morris’ commitment to the center, part of Mountain Empire Older Citizens, Inc., goes beyond simply performing a list of job duties. Because of her dedication and exemplary service, Morris is the 2021 Mae French Outstanding Older Worker Award recipient.
The annual award recognizes an older MEOC employee at least age 55 who demonstrates the qualities of service, loyalty, commitment and kindness in the workplace and community exemplified by the late Mae French. French became an MEOC employee in 1976 at age 81 through the Green Thumb Program. She worked at the agency’s Norton nutrition site until an illness in 1993 forced her to retire at age 98.
This year’s award was announced Dec. 7 by MEOC Older Worker Program Director Carrie Stallard. “Dianne is an amazing example of the soul and spirit of MEOC,” said Stallard. “Dianne is a mentor and role model for coworkers and displays a work ethic and dedication that inspires everyone around her. Her gift to our community is much-needed resources and aid. Her gift to MEOC is her leadership, loyalty and commitment to helping others.”
Morris was surprised but honored to receive the award. “It’s a privilege to work for an agency and a program that does so much for so many in our community,” she noted.
MEOC Care Coordination Director Judy Willis said that since Morris joined MEOC in 2018, she has distinguished herself as dedicated to service and exemplifies kindness in all she does. “Dianne has, during her tenure, expended a tremendous amount of energy and time forming and strengthening connections in the community, both locally and in the cancer community statewide,” added Willis.
Morris is also a board member of the Cancer Action Coalition of Virginia and co-chair of the Cancer Center Without Walls. She has contributed to multiple studies sponsored by the UVA Cancer Center.
For more information about MEOC and its programs and services, call (276) 523-4202. MEOC serves Lee, Scott and Wise counties and the City of Norton.
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