Congratulations to Alexa Hershey and Alyssa Wood who are both recognized as Volunteers of the Month due to their excellent work as Art Cart volunteers in Family and Volunteer Services. As Art Cart volunteers, Alexa and Alyssa do an excellent job advertising the crafts on Art Cart; rather than just suggesting one standard activity, they share with patients a list of available options. Alexa and Alyssa also create examples of crafts to show patients how different activities can be completed. Their creativity has really helped to popularize some of the crafts that aren’t usually selected. Additionally, Alexa and Alyssa do a great job keeping the cart tidy and stocking it appropriately, alerting supervisors when supplies are running low and keeping track of what items kids are choosing most often. Alexa, a high school junior, has 170 hours of service since she began volunteering in October 2008 and Alyssa has over 100 hours of service since she began volunteering in October 2009. Both have numerous Service Stars for their extra efforts. Everyone in Family and Volunteer Services thank Alyssa Wood and Alexa Hershey for their continued dedication and support of the patients, families, and staff of Nationwide Children’s Hospital!
Suneil Kamath, a high school junior, has been a Volunteen since May 2008 and has accumulated over 205 hours of service. “Suneil Kamath is the prime example of a volunteer who consistently demonstrates outstanding performance,” says Hollie Johnson, Child Life Specialist on J5. “There have been far and few volunteers that I have trained over the past several years that have exhibited such leadership skills and compassion as Suneil.” In addition to his typical volunteer duties, Suneil participated in and led the Hem/Onc Camp Day where he arrived early and stayed late, ensuring that each child had the opportunity to engage in the craft activity. He also came in on Easter Sunday, dressed up as a bunny and assisted with delivering Easter baskets. He is truly a role model to other volunteers and was willing to mentor another Volunteen who did not feel comfortable functioning on the unit independently. Everyone in Family and Volunteer Services and J5 thanks him for his continued dedication and support of the families, patients and staff of Nationwide Children’s Hospital!
As a volunteer with over 365 hours of service in three years, it’s no wonder Vicky Nguyen is so appreciated by the Clubhouse staff. “Vicky is a wonderful volunteer. She is always willing to stay beyond her schedule to help out in the Clubhouse if volunteers call off in the last minute,” says Vicki Compton, Clubhouse Sibling Liaison. “Vicky is very dependable, which means the world to our staff!” In the Clubhouse, the children love playing with Vicky and the feeling is mutual - you can tell so by the smile on her face. She is a role model and mentor for the new volunteers, and assists in helping them get acquainted with the Clubhouse. Additionally, Vicky has served as a 6th floor unit volunteer and an Information Desk volunteer. Everyone in Family and Volunteer Services and the Clubhouse thank her for her continued dedication and support of the siblings, patients, families and staff!
As a landscaping assistant volunteer, Sarah definitely enjoys working outside. “Sarah displays a positive attitude and is diligent in completing her work assignments,” says Stan Sharp, Grounds Supervisor. “Sarah started as a summer Volunteen and has stayed with our department year round!”
Sarah has done everything from raking leaves to washing utility vehicles. This is not the typical volunteer assignment at the hospital, but one which is greatly appreciated! Since May of 2008, Sarah has over 220 service hours. “She is a fast learner,” adds Stan.
This past winter, Sarah also provided assistance to the Engineering archive staff in reorganizing drawing files and converting to them to electronic filing. In this capacity, she has demonstrated computer literacy, keyboard efficiency and an ability to work independently with little supervision.
Congratulations again to Sarah Pratt our September 2010 Volunteer of the Month. Everyone in Family and Volunteer Services as well as Engineering thank her for her continued dedication and support of the patients, families and staff of Nationwide Children’s Hospital!
The Holdren’s started volunteering at Nationwide Children’s four years ago as part of the Team Battelle volunteer group.
“As a couple they work together delivering admitting gifts for newly admitted patients. They not only deliver gifts but also their kindness and cheer,” said Child Life Specialist in Family and Volunteer Services Donna Trentel.
They have accumulated over 400 services hours. In December they went above and beyond by adjusting their own family schedule to deliver gifts to children on Christmas day. Nationwide Children’s and Family and Volunteer Services would like to thank Mike and Kathy for their continued dedication and support!
“Ron is a delight to be around and an asset to the volunteer program,” states Annie Barnett and Markelle Springsteen, Child Life Specialists on the Rehab and Neurology unit.
Ron has been a dedicated and consistent volunteer for the Rehab/Neuro unit since March 2008 and has completed 155 hours. During this time he has shown compassion to patients and families throughout their admissions. Both the units sometimes have several long-term patients who are here for weeks or months at a time, and Ron can be found interacting with these patients on a weekly basis.
He has been observed to be at bedside or in the activity rooms engaging patients in games or crafts at their requests. Ron shows a level of comfort working with patients that others may view as a challenge, including non-verbal or develop mentally delayed. For example, Ron has spent time on a weekly basis with a 3-year old patient who is non-verbal and cognitively impaired. By brining a calming voice and appropriate activities to the patient, he has brought many smiles and giggles to this little one.
One of the many duties as a unit volunteer is to help clean and maintain the playroom, which is doubled for these unit volunteers as they are responsible for two playrooms. Ron has done an excellent job at maintaining the rooms while also seeking out opportunities to assist in other areas when needed to maximize his use of time while he is here. When asked what he likes best about volunteering at NCH, Ron states, “helping someone in need, hopefully making a difference.”
“Tara is a great example of what volunteers are at NCH. She always goes above and beyond what she is asked to do,” says Kierre Brown, Therapy Aide. “She is given very little direction and she continually surprises us with her capabilities!”
As a weekly volunteer in the OT/PT Department, Tara is a self-starter with a variety of tasks. She does everything from helping with patients during therapy to organizing materials in the department. “Tara brings a lot of good energy to the Clinical Therapies Department,” adds Brown. Tara has even come in extra shifts to assist with groups.
Tara is a busy 2010 graduating high school senior with plans to attend Ohio Dominican University. Since her start at Nationwide Children's Hospital in October 2006, she has accumulated a remarkable 585 service hours! She has also volunteered on the Art Cart and in the Clubhouse.
Amanda Goetz, Therapy Aide, adds “she has become such an important and active part of our department that staff always looks forward when she volunteers.”
“Kevin is an outstanding volunteer!,” says Jennifer Patterson, Family Resource Center Liaison. “Kevin has a great sense of what tasks are priorities, and takes initiatives without needing direction from staff.”
Kevin volunteers in the Family Resource Center. Families are always first and foremost to Kevin. He has an excellent demeanor when interacting with parents, siblings, and patients. He is a kind and compassionate listener, yet knows fully how to maintain appropriate boundaries.
Patterson tells how Kevin interacted with the siblings of a dialysis patient. This young man stops in the Family Resource Center, specifically seeking Kevin out. “The impact Kevin has had on this boy is remarkable! Kevin has gone above and beyond to reach out to this family,” says Patterson.
A volunteer since September 2008, Kevin has contributed over 210 hours in the Family Resource Center. His humble and unassuming nature would never seek recognition, but Kevin’s efforts make a big difference in the Family Resource Center.
“As Admitting Gift volunteers, they share the responsibility to deliver gifts to newly admitted patients,” says Donna Trentel, Child Life Specialist. “This team is successful in their communications with each other and with FVS to make sure that one of them plans to come each Saturday morning!”
Our Saturday Admitting Gift team is a rather unusual set-up. Saturday morning is a busy time for people, so making a weekly commitment to volunteering can be a challenge. This group of volunteers decided they would form a team and communicate directly with each other to schedule. This also works if they need to shift weeks or cover absences. They are dependable and are respectful toward each other when scheduling. They may volunteer independently, but they make a great team to deliver the admitting gifts to the 25-30 patients that are on the list each Saturday morning!
Katie Boyce has volunteered for 5 years and has nearly 100 hours of service. Valerie Delmonico has volunteered for 6.5 years and has over 180 hours of service. Penny Murray has been at Children’s for 6 years and has over 260 hours of service. As mother’s, wives, employees, and many other roles in their ‘regular lives’, it is wonderful that these women have made a consistent commitment to making time to be involved in their community and making a difference at Nationwide Children's Hospital.
“Mary is a volunteer who we know we can always count on—she is awesome with patients and is a great role model for other volunteers,” says Laura Crisp, Volunteer Program Coordinator.
Mary has quite the history with our program. She started volunteering in November 2005 with the Reach Out and Read program. The program was so impressed with her ability to interact with children and parents, they hired her! Even after saying goodbye to ROR, Mary didn’t want to leave Nationwide Children's Hospital. She has been a volunteer on the C4/A2 NICU since June 2008 and has a total of 233 service hours!
This past fall, we were faced with a real delay in getting new C4/A2 volunteers trained. The volunteer who has been so committed to training was facing some health issues. “Mary was the first person I thought of,” says Crisp. “She is a wonderful communicator and understands our many policies!” Thankfully, Mary was willing to take on this additional role of not only volunteer, but trainer as well. That meant we were able to continue to place new volunteers in a much sought after assignment.
In addition to her role on C4/A2, Mary takes time to sub in the Clubhouse when they are in need of additional volunteers! “Mary’s support of NCH extends to so many groups!” says Crisp.
“Sarah goes above and beyond in all her volunteer duties,” says Heather Glick, CTRS. “Sarah assists the therapeutic recreation department with the New U JR program for the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition and has been extremely helpful!”
As a weekly volunteer with the evening sessions, Sarah currently has over 140 hours since she began volunteering in December 2007. Sarah is awesome with kids and getting them engaged and energized for physical activity an her involvement further aides with the lesson for the evening. “Sarah takes the initiative to step in and give the patients individualized attention as needed. She comes to each evening session with a smile on her face,” adds Glick.
Staff adds how they personally appreciate all the time Sarah has dedicated to this program along with the character that she brings. She makes all of the programs run so smoothly. “I know the families who have been through the program appreciate all of her work as much as we do,” adds Glick.
Prior to her current assignment, Sarah volunteered on the 6th floor as a patient unit volunteer. Her interest in the therapeutic recreation led her to explore opportunities in an area where we had not traditionally placed volunteers.
“As a retired music educator, Carol continues her love and passion of teaching the joy of music and reading through the Reach Out and Read program,” says Shareena Rhodes, music volunteer coordinator from the Reach Out and Read program.
Carol volunteers at several of the primary care clinics. She began volunteering in 2001 and has over 435 hours of service. “Her enthusiasm not only excites children, but can be a stress relief for parents as well,” indicates Rhodes.
Recently a social worker reported that a parent had shared that the music Carol had performed with her child had touched her deeply. Carol was the 2009 Columbus Symphony Orchestra Music Educator of the Year and donated her award to Reach Out and Read to buy instruments and music supplies.