Saint Mary’s celebrates an auxiliary in action
For the past 38 years, the members of Saint Mary’s Regional Health System’s Volunteer Auxiliary have focused on service above self. Like their counterparts around the country, they make up an irreplaceable force. During National Healthcare Volunteer Appreciation Week, April 15 – 21, Saint Mary’s Regional Health System would like to thank the nearly 65 men and women of the volunteer Auxiliary for their outstanding dedication and contributions that make a difference each day in the lives of patients and guests. This year’s national appreciation theme is “Volunteers: A World of Diversity…One Purpose,” which perfectly reflects the multifaceted role of volunteers within the country’s healthcare network, and right here in the River Valley. The Saint Mary’s Volunteer Auxiliary is an energetic and active mix of men and women; youths and senior citizens; working and retired; married, single, widowed; and those of different race, religion, and socio-economic background. And the duties they perform are as diverse as the members themselves. On any given day, Saint Mary’s volunteers can be found assisting throughout the hospital. Whether they’re helping visitors and families in high-visibility areas such as the Information Desk or various waiting areas; assisting with behind-the-scenes tasks; running specimens to the lab; delivering flowers; or escorting a new mother and baby to the front door, each volunteer plays a vital part in delivering quality patient care and strengthening the community’s trust in its hospital. “This annual springtime recognition is well-deserved,” said hospital CEO Donnie Frederic. “Without this auxiliary, we could not accomplish what we do at Saint Mary’s. Our volunteers’ goodwill, energy, and abilities make a big difference in the achievement of our mission, and we applaud their dedication and all they do for this hospital and the River Valley community. “Each year, our hospital invests and moves forward in technologies and medical techniques,” he continued, “but these advancements cannot replace the value of the human touch. Our volunteers are here to welcome our guests, comfort our patients, and support our staff – because they care and want to give back. They are a constant in the ever-changing frontier of healthcare, and for all of these things we want to show our gratitude and honor them.” During the week, Saint Mary’s volunteers will be treated to a variety of sweets and other treats made by employees from various departments throughout the hospital. If you are looking to do something good for others – and yourself, volunteering at Saint Mary’s Regional Health System may be just what you need. Studies show that volunteerism boosts the mental, emotional and physical health of those who volunteer. Older volunteers in particular are seeing significant benefits. Research has concluded that most volunteers enjoy greater mental awareness, improved social connectedness, and a renewed sense of purpose. And relationships created through volunteerism may also buffer stress and reduce depression. Benefits of volunteerism extend across all generations. Studies also show that students who volunteer enhance their skills, increase self-esteem, develop empathy for others, and interact with like-minded peers. When young people serve as volunteers, they are more likely to continue the practice into adulthood. Saint Mary’s is always looking for people to join its energetic and enthusiastic Volunteer Auxiliary. Applications are available at the hospital’s switchboard office near the main entrance, or can be downloaded at www.saintmarysregional.com. Additional information can be obtained by calling 479-968-2841, ext. 0.