Advocate Trinity Hospital celebrated National Volunteer Week on April 18 by honoring the hospital’s 55 volunteers at its annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon.
Over 60 guests attended, including Advocate Trinity’s longest serving volunteer Martha Wilson, 88, who has shared her time and talents with the hospital for 27 years. Also among the honorees were Florence Burns, 86, a 20-year volunteer and Dale Benniefield, 73, who joined the hospital’s volunteer force four months ago.
“When it comes to finding ways to spend their days after retirement, we know our seniors have options. We’re grateful that they choose to spend time with us,” said Jackie Rouse, Director of Community Health and Community Health Workers.
Volunteers assist hospital team members in numerous ways. They file records, prepare paperwork in hospital units, deliver mail, help with cafeteria duties and greet patients. Together, these volunteers contributed over 23,000 hours and community benefits valued at more than $250,000 in 2017.
As part of the celebration, staff of hospital departments benefitting from volunteers–including Medical Records, Laboratory, Emergency, Cardiology, Radiology and Physical Therapy–attended the celebration and presented volunteer team members with a small gift.
“Every day, we see our volunteers’ hard work and dedication that helps to make Advocate Trinity a happy and peaceful setting,” said Community Health Coordinator Rukiyat Lawal.
And while the hospital sees value in its volunteers, the men and women who donate time feel the benefits as well.
Benniefield explained that at one time he made social calls to Advocate Trinity’s lobby because the people were friendly. When a staff member noticed his visits were becoming more frequent, she invited Benniefield to become a volunteer. He has served as a front lobby greeter ever since.
“It’s something to do. I love it and when people come in, I make them feel good,” he says.
Burns, who helps with paperwork in the Same Day Surgery Unit said she keeps coming back because she enjoys the atmosphere. However, the unit’s charge nurse, Renee James, RN, explained that Burns plays an important role in making her work environment pleasant.
“Any time anyone comes in feeling down, they can always go talk to Ms. Florence. She always gives good words of wisdom,” James said.
Perhaps Wilson, who volunteers in the hospital mailroom and is known throughout the hospital for her wry sense of humor sums-up her experience best. “I’ve been here for 27 years and I’ve seen a lot of changes,” she said. Then with a wink she added “I hope they never fire me. I love it here.”
If you would like to volunteer at Advocate Trinity Hospital, call the Volunteer Services Department at (773) 967-3447 or complete and return an online application.