LANCASTER – At a special volunteer appreciation banquet Thursday, April 14, Antelope Valley Hospital recognized its 500 volunteers who collectively contributed nearly 60,000 hours of service to the hospital in 2015.
“We are fortunate to have a wonderful team of volunteers who give so much of their time to care for our patients,” stated John Rossfeld, chief executive officer at AVH. “Not only do they donate their time, but volunteers 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 benefits from their generosity.”
The celebration, held at Hellenic Center in Lancaster, included special recognition for milestone years of volunteer service. The honorees were Jacquelyn Gunsten, 35 years; Maggie Sullivan, 30 years; Dan Beasley, Janet Fischer, Judy Ibbotson and Marsha Pedersen, 25 years; and Joseph Leath, 20 years.
Recognition was also given to the volunteers who contributed the most hours during their tenure — Judy Ibbotson and Bobbie Patton with 13,000 hours, and Lou Arnold with 12,000 hours.
“Volunteers are very much a part of the AVH family,” stated Mary Binkowski, director of volunteer resources at AVH. “They make a difference every day in the lives of our patients, their families and the entire community.”
The hospital relies on the talents of volunteers to support staff by greeting, visiting with and escorting patients and their families, distributing comfort items, filing, organizing, managing the pet therapy program, and other duties. Morethan 30 chaplains regularly donate their time to provide pastoral care at AVH.
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.
The Teen Volunteer Program, established in 1958, is one of the largest in Southern California, with more than 200 teen volunteers participating year-round. Designed for high school students, it can help young people acquire workplace experience and develop networking opportunities.
Every April, during National Healthcare Volunteer Week, healthcare organizations nationwide recognize volunteers. For more information about Antelope Valley Hospital’s volunteer program call 661‑949‑5105 or visit the volunteer section of the hospital’s website.
[Information via news release from Antelope Valley Hospital.]