[by Phyllis Shaikun]
Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare volunteers are important to the organization, and each year JHSMH holds
a special event honoring these unsung heroes for the many hours they unselfishly devote to patients and their families. This year’s recognition event for volunteers at Jewish Hospital, Frazier Rehab, Jewish Hospital Medical Centers South, East and Northeast was held at Jewish Hospital’s Hank Wagner Conference Center on Friday, April 23.
Brian Doheny, vice president and chief operating officer of the Jewish Hospital Medical Center, set the mood of the afternoon when he called those attending “a blessed group of people,” and said he was grateful to have them. He went on to touch on changes that have taken place in the organization over the past few months in terms of processes and personnel, and basically said they are in keeping with the shifts that have been seen nationally. We need to respond and adapt to the changes, he concluded, in order to provide better health care for the community we serve.
He introduced Gina Parson, the new director of volunteer services for all Jewish Hospital and St. Mary’s HealthCare facilities in the network. She, in turn, introduced her assistant, Sharon Cook, who has been with the Sts. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital for 37 years.
Rabbi Laura Metzger, JHSMH Staff Rabbi, offered the invocation and blessing before lunch. She is a member of the Mission and Values Integration Department, leads the Health Equity Initiative and serves on the Ethics Committee and the Holistic Nursing Steering Committee. What holds us together, she said, is what we share. You share your gifts in the springtime and in every season.
JHSMH Director of Organizational Development and Diversity, Lavay Lauter, energized the crowd with an interactive program focused on “excellence,” which was the theme of the day’s program. She defined excellence as doing the same thing over and over again until you get it right.
Volunteers, she said, do that when they give their time to encourage and listen and bring their community experiences with them to help others.
Several therapy dogs brought their owners with them for the afternoon since they also volunteer their time assisting patients.
Parsons and Cook presented a number of volunteers with special service awards in recognition of their hours of service. They announced that volunteers this year, including 52 teen volunteers last summer, contributed a total of 17,689 volunteer hours to the organization.
Among those who reached plateaus where they join many of their peers were: Sharon Weiss (300 hours); Sheldon Wolff (400 hours); Janet Rockafellar (900 hours); Barbara Meyers (1,000 hours); Shirley Bailen, Sid Bederman and Helen Berger (1,500 hours); Frieda Berlin, Toni Ernst and Rita Klein (2,000 hours); Ellen Bayersdorfer, Janice Bailen and Miriam Ostroff (2,500 hours); Harriet Dicter and Ann Hertzman (3,000 hours); Marcia Schuster and Judy Sweitzer (4,500 hours); Terry Belker, Elise Essig and Babs Lobred (5,500 hours); Jerome Lobred and Selma Epstein (6,500 hours); Annalee Pollock (7,000 hours); Blema Baer and Clarice Gradman (7,500 hours) and Marcia Abramson (16,500 hours).
Karl and Roanne Victor presented the Julia Victor Volunteer of the Year Award to Drew McMurtie. The award was named in loving memory of their mother, Julia Victor, the first president of the Jewish Hospital Guild founder of the gift shop, who devoted countless volunteer hours to the hospital. According to his nomination forms, McMurtrie has shown outstanding commitment to several programs at Jewish Hospital including No One Dies Alone and the pulmonary department, where they consider him a valuable team member and wonder how they survived without him.
The Victors presented the Julia Victor Nursing Scholarship to Christina Parks, a 2003 graduate of the University of Louisville who attends nursing school at Galen College. Parks said her contribution to the nursing profession will be “a life-long dedication to providing flawless care.”
If you would like information about how to join or refer someone to the ranks of JHSMH volunteers, please call Gina Parsons or Sharon Cook at 587-4305 or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.