AV Hospital celebrates National Healthcare Volunteer week

LANCASTER – The National Healthcare Volunteer Week is celebrated this year during the week of April 15 – 21. This is a time when healthcare organizations all over the country take time to recognize the volunteers who give so much of their time and talents, free of charge.

Antelope Valley Hospital (AVH) will recognize its valuable volunteers on Monday, April 23 with an evening appreciation banquet.

“AV Hospital is extremely proud of the entire team of volunteers who give their time to care for our community,” says Edward Mirzabegian, Antelope Valley Hospital Chief Executive Officer. “Not only do they donate their time, they also run programs that raise thousands of dollars every year and have directly contributed to many improvements and enhancements throughout the hospital. The entire community has benefited from their generosity.”

AV Hospital is very appreciative of the more than 375 volunteers that are currently donating their time, and the thousands of people have volunteered since the hospital opened in 1955. Some of the current volunteers have been donating their time for over 30 years. In 2011, the team donated a combined total of nearly 60,000 hours of service.

“Volunteers have a powerful role in society — they both encourage those they help and inspire others to do the same,” says Mary Theobald, Director of Patient & Guest Relations and Volunteer Services at AVH. “Community volunteers are an integral part of the healthcare team. Their dedication to coordinating fundraising programs to benefit the hospital and helping patients is priceless.”

Fundraising groups such as the Alpha Charter Guild and the AVH Auxiliary have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the hospital since their founding. Volunteers staff the Auxiliary Gift Shops located in the main hospital and the Women and Infants Pavilion, as well as the “New to You” thrift store located at 329 West Avenue I in Lancaster. The Alpha Charter Guild’s primary fundraiser is the annual “Hourglass Debutante Presentation Ball,” which it has been coordinating since the Guild’s establishment in 1965.

Teen Volunteer Program, established in 1958, is one of the largest in southern California, with over 200 teen volunteers participating year-round. Designed for high school students, it can help young people acquire work-place experience and develop networking opportunities. These young people have the advantage of seeing, firsthand, how important quality healthcare is to the community and how their participation helps meet the individual needs of patients and their families.

For more information about volunteering at Antelope Valley Hospital, visit www.avhospital.org/volunteer.

(Information via press release from Antelope Valley Hospital.)