ELIZABETHTOWN - Officials at Elizabethtown Community Hospital are praising those who have selflessly given their time to help lighten the load for patients and those treating them.
Jane Hooper is director of community relations at ECH and manages the volunteer staff there. She notes that volunteers logged more than 2,700 hours of service to the hospital in 2009.
Volunteers work throughout the hospital in a variety of departments including radiology, administration, laboratory, and ER. They support the administrative functions of each department in which they work; often answering telephones, directing patients and visitors, preparing surveys and filing, Hooper explained.
Hospital Administrator Rod Boula said he's proud of the volunteer staff, and credits them with helping to ensure the hospital's smooth operation.
"Our volunteers perform a variety of essential tasks," said Boula. "They direct patients and family members throughout the facility, provide support to the hospital staff and help wherever needed. Their collective years of experience and compassion for patients make them incredibly valuable to our organization.
Volunteers must receive a similar general orientation as paid employees in order to understand the hospital's various functions and departmental requirements. They are also held to the same standards in terms of ensuring patient confidentiality and trust.
"2,700 hours is a significant milestone," Boula added, "and we are very proud of their commitment to the hospital."
Many of the volunteers have been contributing their time for a number of years. Jeanne Luppy began volunteering at the hospital 18 years ago, while Betty Jane Light has volunteered for over 15 years.
Many of the hospital's volunteer staff give approximately 100 hours each year, while a few give over 200 hours. Warren Baker, who donates his time to the VA Clinic, has given over 1,000 hours of his time this year.
"These men and women form a wonderful group," said Hooper. "They make things easier on the staff, easier on visitors to the hospital and easier on the patients. We can't thank them enough for all they do."