National Volunteer Week: celebrating MultiCare volunteers
This week marks seven days of appreciation for the hundreds of team members who donate their time and talent to MultiCare – it’s National Volunteer Week.
Last year, 5,975 MultiCare volunteers donated 107,252 hours of time to make sure that MultiCare staff and patients had everything they needed to be successful, even during a global pandemic.
The following vignettes highlight just some of the many passionate individuals that continue to support MultiCare teams and their community.
Lending an ear
Jamie has been a volunteer with MultiCare Volunteer Services since 2018. She has dedicated her time connecting with hospice patients during their most difficult days bringing them comfort and a smile.
After COVID-19 hit and in-person visits had to be placed on hold; Jamie didn’t stop, instead she connected with hospice patients through thoughtful weekly telephone calls and then added seven additional weekly telephone calls to seniors who were experiencing loneliness due to isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic through the Senior Support Calls program.
Jamie takes her time building a connection with each patient making sure they feel heard, loved and have the support they need.
Enhancing patient experiences
Volunteer, Faith Pak, welcomes all patients and families with a smile. She is a door screener at the North Shore Clinic, taking the temperatures of each patient and visitor, providing the staff extra time to spend checking in patients and collecting signatures and co pays without putting the back-office staff behind.
“Faith has enhanced the patient experience by having the first contact with patients when they are entering the building helping direct them through their visit,” Clinic Manager, Deborah Forsyth says. “Our staff value the collaboration and kindness our Faith adds to the team. She is here three days a week and always cheerful and happy.”
Susan volunteers as a Senior Companion Volunteer. This role focuses on developing a friendship with community members who are 55 years or older and homebound.
Susan has three people she visits weekly and support with visits to the doctors and grocery store. Much of the visits are also just time to talk.
“Reducing isolation and supporting access to food and doctors helps our clients age in their homes as long as possible,” Celebrate Seniority Manager, Deborah Gurney says. “Thank you for making a difference, Susan, through your dedication, compassion and time.”
Keeping our patients safe
Lonnie Dotson Sr. has volunteered more than 400 hours at the Covington Laboratory Desk and as a front entrance door screener.
“Lonnie is so very sociable and relatable to our public,” Covington Security Officer, Jake Brooks says. “He is attentive and diligent, with his volunteer role. He has a smile and positive attitude, with such uplifting conversation; for each and every person he is screening at the front. He is always willing to jump in and help where needed, and train new volunteers. Lonnie’s just an excellent volunteer, across the board!”
One of Lonnie’s major goals is keeping everyone safe. Lonnie made sure to communicate the needs of the medical center such as PPE equipment for patients, visitors and volunteers. Lonnie’s enthusiasm and knowledge of his role, shows everyone he represents and upholds all of MultiCare’s values.
Meet the “bead lady”
For more than 15 years Susan Hayes has been sharing her time and talents at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital.
Affectionately known around the hospital as ‘The Bead Lady’, Susan supports Beads of Courage. This program provides children coping with serious illness colorful beads to record, tell and own their stories of courage.
“I love helping children through their journey and celebrating their courage,” Susan says.
Mary Bridge Children’s Child Life Assistant, Lou Ann League appreciates Susan’s dedication and positive attitude.
“Susan’s passion about this program is contagious and it spreads to others she connects with along the way including patients, families, staff and other volunteers,” Lou Ann says. “Her positive energy and enthusiasm sparkle everywhere she goes. She’s an amazing liaison for our Mary Bridge Children’s staff.”
Dung Halfhill has only been volunteering for three months and already has served close to 200 hours
Office Coordinators, Judy Dunn and Tara McWhorter, want to recognize Dung Halfhill for her “gentle communication with families and her non-intrusive attention to detail in cleaning front office registration/check in desks and the seating area. We feel like this communicates outstandingly our commitment to health and safety and demonstrates our commitment to excellence.”
Serving lunch and laughs
Visiting the doctor is never easy, especially for children. It can be scary for a child to go into a big building with unfamiliar surroundings. Volunteers John Simchuk and Ken Emly not only help alleviate stress at the entrance of the Mary Bridge Children’s Health Center, they ensure children in our community have access to nutritious meals as well.
“John and Ken treat every child with so much kindness and respect,” Mary Bridge Health Center screener, Jessica Dickson says. “Parents often boast at the door coming in how sweet they are. I see them get down on the children’s eye levels and talk to them and make jokes with their parent’s. If a child is shy, they will attempt to comfort them and usually end up making them giggle. They create a such a welcoming energy when people are coming and going.”
In partnership with the USDA Summer Food Service Program more than 15,000 meals were provided to children who no longer had access to their school lunch program due to COVID-19. Volunteers like John and Ken are preparing and serving those meals to continue to support local families need.
“I look forward to seeing them each week and I know the families are just as appreciative,” Jessica says. “John and Ken exhibit all of Mary Bridge Children’s values and bring what we are about to life every time they come.”