[By Phyllis Shaikun]
Each April during Volunteer Appreciation Week, Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare takes time to honor the volunteers who help to make a difference in people’s lives at various JHSMH facilities and in the community. This year’s luncheon took place on Tuesday, April 17, at the Oxmoor Country Club.
Gina Parsons, the very creative director of volunteer service for JHSMH, carried out this year’s theme, “Our Volunteers are GEMS,” right from the start of her remarks. She compared them to amethysts (vivid and sincere), diamonds (brilliant, courageous, tough, and “a girl’s best friend”), emeralds (intense and soothing), rubies (glowing and content) and sapphires (brilliant, precise and brings blessings). Bryan Lamberson chaplain at JHSMH, offered thanks to the volunteers for giving their time to others on a regular basis.
Karl and Roanne Victor told the crowd a bit about themselves and about Karl’s mother, Julia Victor, a long-time volunteer at Jewish Hospital volunteer and the person in whose memory the Julia Victor Nursing Scholarship the Volunteer of the Year Awards are presented. She was the first president of the Jewish Hospital Guild and worked in the hospital’s gift shop for many years. Roanne Victor presented the Julia Victor Nursing scholarship to Kerry Spencer, a former missionary in West Africa who will graduate from nursing school in August and plans to work at Jewish Hospital.
Karl Victor was honored and happy to be at the luncheon and was particularly pleased to present the Julia Victor Volunteer of the Year Award to Frieda Berlin, a volunteer at Jewish Hospital’s information desk since 1986. Berlin has given over 2,300 hours to the organization and she continues to be actively involved in the effort. She also drives other volunteers to the hospital so they can continue to give their time as well.
Doug Howell, interim CEO of the Jewish Hospital Medical Center, said “No matter what brought you to volunteering or how much time you are able to give, we are blessed that you have chosen us.” He offered greetings from the KentuckyOne Health President/CEO, Ruth Brinkley, who could not attend the event.
Brinkley thanked volunteers for playing an important role in “our present and future success” and noted that in 2011, volunteers contributed a staggering 83,000 hours, which translates to over $1.5 million in savings for the organization. More importantly, volunteers made life easier for patients, their families and physicians.
Howell also read a list of those recognized for achieving significant service hour milestones including Marcia Abramson, Dan Bauer, Ellen Bayersdorfer, Janet Rockafellar and Sharon Weiss.
Guest speaker Katherine Austin, a certified gemologist, tied the program together by describing various gems and explaining the differences between them. Everyone got to take home a brightly colored box of chocolate covered sunflower seeds, a KentuckyOne Health goblet and lots of fond memories of a lovely afternoon.
If you are interested in volunteering at any KentuckyOne Health facility, please call 587-4305.