Jackie Medland: Volunteers Add Richness, Joy to Life for Our Patients

By Jackie Medland
President/CNO, Highlands-Cashiers Hospital

Easter calls to thoughts rebirth, and on the Plateau spring bursts forth with unparalleled magnificence. There’s one other rebirth taking place at Highlands-Cashiers Hospital and the Eckerd Living Center – one that’s making a distinction in lots of lives. We are revitalizing our volunteer program, as a result of with out our volunteer corps, we merely couldn’t perform within the method that we need. Since April is National Volunteer Month, there’s no higher time than now to speak concerning the profound distinction our volunteers make within the lives of each our sufferers and our workers.

I’m usually struck by what number of methods our group members give: they spend money on HCH philanthropically, they share their ideas and concepts with me about making HCH the easiest it may be, and our volunteer pool makes our sufferers’ lives brighter and our workers members’ work lighter. As we replicate on the distinction our volunteers have made within the lifetime of HCH over the previous yr, it’s vital to notice that we’ve had over 50 energetic volunteers give their power and efforts to help their group.  Our volunteers have devoted over 14,000 hours to us this previous yr as nicely, which represents the equal of roughly seven full-time staff – that’s outstanding.

Our volunteers carry out numerous providers: they inventory our small library, present clerical help, accompany residents to group actions, have a tendency our gardens, and even convey their pet canines in to heat each laps and hearts.  For residents who can not take part in group actions, volunteers present companionship by way of dialog, studying, or just holding a affected person’s hand.

Linda Arnold is a superb instance of our volunteers’ efforts.  She is nicely liked at ELC, and performs dominoes with the residents, calls BINGO most Friday nights, and leads a ladies’s devotional group. Volunteers imply a lot to our ELC residents. Since these sufferers obtain long-term care, they construct wealthy relationships with our volunteers, and rely on seeing them commonly.

We are additionally lucky to have our Ladies Auxiliary help the operation of our hospital present store, beneath the devoted management of Patty Hutchins.  The new present store’s outstanding location implies that the volunteers’ faces can be among the first that our sufferers and households see after they enter the hospital later this spring.

As one may think, to work in a hospital setting potential volunteers should undergo background checks, get vital vaccinations, and schedule their work nicely upfront, so we all know, earlier than they even begin.  We wish to know that our volunteers are critical about working with us and match with such a particular breed of compassionate human beings.

Aside from acknowledging our present volunteers, I ask our group members to think about devoting a while to HCH or the Eckerd Living Center themselves. Whether it’s on the entrance traces or behind the scenes, there’s a job that matches every individual’s skills.  You will make a distinction within the lives of your group members, and I assure that you’ll be a key ingredient in making our group stronger and more healthy!

For extra data on Highlands-Cashiers Hospital, go to hchospital.org.


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