At Johnston Health, volunteers greet and guide, assist and advise, comfort and console. They’re pretty savvy, too, at fundraising and retail sales.
For giving of their time and talents, the 234 volunteers with the health care system got a well-deserved pat on the back last Wednesday during their annual luncheon at the Johnston County Agricultural Center. The event precedes National Volunteer Week, April 23-29.
Chuck Elliott, president and CEO of Johnston Health, praised the men and women for their inspiring example of generosity, and he highlighted their good works. “Your gift of time is priceless,” he said. “You are critical to the operation of our hospital and hospice house, to the patient experience, and to the overall success of our organization.”
In 2016, the volunteers logged 43,464 hours among the hospital campuses in Smithfield and Clayton, including the SECU Hospice House, for a total contribution of $1,045,743.84. The Independent Sector, which is an advocacy group for charities, sets the value of a volunteer’s hour in North Carolina at $24.06.
Bobby Parker, chairman of the Johnston Health Board of Directors, thanked the volunteers for their dedication and commitment, and reminded them of the many health care services within their reach on the hospital campuses.
Also notable, Beverly Watson of Smithfield, a chaplain volunteer, received the Overa S. Stevens Award for dedicated service. She has been a volunteer for six and half years.
All of the volunteers received certificates and pins acknowledging their individual hours of service for the year. Retired volunteers and others who have passed away were also acknowledged and remembered.
CEO highlights volunteers’ accomplishments
What follows are some of accomplishments CEO Chuck Elliott highlighted at last week’s luncheon.
- Volunteers at the Smithfield and Clayton hospitals greet visitors and help them find their way. In addition to assisting departments, they run the Volunteer Gift Shops and direct the receipts toward hospital needs. Last year, they contributed $49,000 in proceeds toward equipment purchases, such as $10,000 for 3-D mammography machines, $9,500 for patient lifts, and $6,000 for a blanket warmer.
- Through jewelry and shoe sales, they raised $10,000 for scholarships to local students headed into health-care related fields.
- At the SECU Hospice House, volunteers, among other things, fill the water pitchers, stock the kitchen, read to patients. They also stage the Tree of Light ceremony and the Community Memorial Service, and put on Camp Courage to help youngsters cope with the loss of loved ones. They’re also resourceful in fulfilling wishes, which creates lasting memories for hospice patients and their loved ones.
- Through their annual rock-a-thons, hospice volunteers raise thousands of dollars for the special needs of families and patients.
- Patient and family advisors round through the hospital and clinics to gather feedback, which helps Johnston Health improve the patient experience. The hospital has taken the suggestions of advisors and designated special parking for expectant mothers, and installed bike racks at entrances.
- Chaplain volunteers are called at night, on weekends and holidays to help patients, families and staff process and cope with bad news, such as a tough diagnosis or the loss of a loved one. They have the gift of bringing calm to difficult situations, and a gentle way of soothing the soul.