Named after Harless’ favorite poem, “The Bridge Builder” by Will Allen Dromgoole, the award recognizes those who have shown great care for the youth and people of West Virginia. Along with Drs. Jim and John Brick, Charlton, who is now Chief Medical Officer at WVU Medicine, started visiting the Larry Joe Harless Community Center in Gilbert, W.Va. a decade ago. Since then, she has begun directing an ophthalmic screening program out of the community center, which has served more than 1,000 southern West Virginians and has detected vision issues in 40 percent of patients since its inception.
The community center was established in the late 1990s after the death of Harless’ son, Larry Joe, and offers health, recreational, physical, cultural and educational programs to the Gilbert community and surrounding areas. Additionally, the center has partnerships with WVU, Marshall University and the Southern West Virginia Health System.
Charlton will accept her award Wednesday, May 22 at the community center.