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BOLIVIA, N.C. – At a recent volunteer appreciation event, Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center leaders recognized the hospital’s 213 volunteers for the 25,853 hours of time – and the vital contributions – they gave to the hospital in 2018. Traditional volunteers and volunteer chaplains were celebrated with a luncheon at the River Room at Lockwood Folly.
“Since 2010, Brunswick Medical Center has substantially increased the number of volunteer hours supporting the medical center,” said Deborah Rochelle, manager of volunteer services. “It increased from approximately 10,000 volunteer hours in 2010 to more than 28,000 hours in 2018.”
Special recognition was given to Gloria and Mike Foss, who received the Governor’s Award for their continued volunteer work as organizers of the Pet Therapy program. The hospital’s 11 therapy dogs, their handlers and assistants were also recognized for the compassionate work they perform for patients, families and hospital team members.
Bob Kaelin and Harry Thranhardt were recognized for their contributions made to the veteran recognition programs at the hospital. Both Kaelin and Thranhardt, along with three other volunteers, visit patients who are veterans and provide them with companionship, a challenge coin and a thank you card. Bob and Harry were instrumental in the 2018 Veteran’s Day celebration at the hospital.
“Every day, our volunteers give unselfishly of themselves, from the smile and greeting at the door to the assistance someone needs in the surgical waiting room or the gift for the new baby,” Rochelle said. “Our volunteers are truly exceptional people.”
Volunteers serve in many hospital departments. The most visible volunteers are those who work at the main guest services desk or in the surgical waiting room, but there are volunteer opportunities all over the hospital. Other volunteer opportunities include pet therapy and pet therapy assistants, visiting patients with cheer carts as well as visiting our patients who are veterans.
In additional to traditional volunteering at the hospital, there are also opportunities to help from home. For example, several groups in the community knit blankets or sew quilts for the hospital’s newborns. Others hand-sew teddy bears to give to young children undergoing procedures.
Hospital volunteers hold several fundraising events each year, including uniform, book and jewelry sales, to support special projects at the hospital and outreach to the community. Volunteers use a portion of the funds raised to give scholarships to second-year students enrolled in health-related programs at Brunswick Community College who have volunteered at the hospital.
Two junior volunteers, Sarah Dhunjishaw and Oleksandr Malenko, received scholarship awards in the amount of $1,500. Hospital volunteers also presented a check for $2,500 to Brunswick Community College.
Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center will be hosting new volunteer information sessions from 10 a.m. to noon on the following dates:
Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center is currently accepting applications for its Summer Junior Volunteer Program through Friday, May 3. Applicants must be 16 years old. For more information on Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center’s volunteer program or to request an application, call 910-721-1493 or visit NovantHealth.org/Volunteer.
[Additional images are available upon request].