ARH Volunteers Recognized During Annual National Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon


Whether it is counseling patients as a chaplain, helping patients and visitors with directions, visiting with patients and/or family members, working in hospital gift shops, organizing magazine drives or assisting with hospital events, volunteers are an important part of the ARH healthcare team.

ARH honored the more than 250 men and women who give of their time and talents as volunteers for the ARH system of hospitals in eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia during a special ceremony in their honor Wednesday at the Belfry First Baptist Church in Belfry, Ky.

Here is a look at the important role ARH volunteers play across the ARH system:
• Over 250 volunteers system-wide
• ARH’s auxiliaries average about 218 hours of service per month.
• This would add up to ARH’s volunteers working over 31,000 hours per year.
• In 2015, all of ARH’s auxiliaries contributed over $98,680 to the system.

During Wednesday’s National Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon, the Tug Valley ARH Regional Medical Center Auxiliary was presented with the Outstanding ARH Auxiliary Program of the Year Award for its Angel of Hope oncology project.

With 15 members, the Tug Valley ARH Auxiliary averages about 204 Hours of service per month, and volunteers there have donated around $11,225 to the hospital within the last year.

The Angel of Hope project assists patients undergoing chemotherapy treatments at the facility. With the emphasis being on hope, the volunteers now present oncology patients with a beautiful Angel of Hope blanket and a gift bag which includes a mason jar with a straw, a fan, hand sanitizer, crossword puzzle book, pencil and pen and pamphlets provided by the American Cancer Society. When a patient begins treatment, the volunteer on duty that day delivers the care package to the patient. To date, 17 bags have been delivered.

Additionally, in 2015, the Tug Valley Auxiliary donated funds for various equipment items for the hospital, including, geri-chairs for the skilled nursing unit and chairs for the emergency room and ICU waiting room.

The auxiliary also donated funds for the purchase of swivel drives for Southside Elementary 5th grade students and 500 pedometers for Southside students.
They have also donated various items for other hospital and community events and have hosted various fundraisers.

Here is a look at the efforts of volunteers at other ARH locations that were also highlighted during the event.

Barbourville ARH Hospital
• Barbourville ARH added to the ARH system in December 2015.
• Currently have approximately 22 volunteers
• They average about 115 hours of service to the hospital each month.
• Contributed approximately $18,000 to the hospital in 2015.
• In recent years, the volunteers at Barbourville have funded the purchase of new flooring for the Emergency Department and rehab areas.
• They also recently purchased a piece of laboratory equipment.

Beckley ARH Hospital
• 32 Members
• Averages 312 hours of service per month
• Contributed over $2,000 to the hospital in 2015
• Beckley ARH’s nominated outstanding program this year was the donation of a carport to the maintenance department by the auxiliary. This carport will be used by the maintenance department to store equipment such as the grounds keeping items.
• The Beckley ARH auxiliary continues to develop their junior volunteer program and they are planning to offer a college scholarship in the near future for eligible junior volunteers.
• In the gift shop, Beckley ARH is continuing the “Friends of the Auxiliary” monthly drawing, which was created to boost sales. Every customer who spends at least $1 gets his/her name entered to win a $10 gift certificate.
• The group continues to conduct monthly sewing workshops and makes splint pillows for patients and tray favors for special occasions.
• The Beckley ARH auxiliary also operates an information desk in the facility’s emergency department and front lobby, conducts weekly popcorn sales, operates the facility’s gift shop, and assists with the facility’s senior program, “Well I’ll Bee."

Harlan ARH Hospital
• 13 Members
• Averages 110 hours of service per month
• Contributed approximately $3,300 to the hospital in 2015
• During 2015, the Harlan ARH Auxiliary focused on serving the oncology patients in the hospital’s infusion suite by presenting each of them with an embroidered lap blanket to keep them warm during their visits to the unit. The blankets are delivered personally by the auxiliary members.
• Each year Harlan ARH Auxiliary members donate newborn gifts during Christmas at their “Happy Birthday Jesus” Party.
• The Harlan Auxiliary also assists with hospital events surrounding Doctor’s Day, Breast Cancer Awareness month, and Stroke Awareness month.
• The members also helped decorate the hospital grounds for fall and sponsored an employee Halloween costume contest.
• The auxiliary donates annually to the Alzheimer’s Association and the ARH Relay for Life team.
• The auxiliary has purchased books for the “My First Book” initiative in an effort to support a community read-to-your child program. All new parents are given the books before leaving the hospital with their newborns.

Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center
• 66 Members
• Averages about 610 hours of service per month
• The Hazard ARH volunteers contributed $45,000 to the hospital in 2015.
• Hazard ARH’s nominated project this year was their employee appreciation project during National Hospital & Nurses Weeks. Each ARH employee from all of the Hazard ARH facilities was given a free drink certificate from the gift shop. Around 2000 free drink certificates were distributed. Along with the free drinks, volunteers provided cookies and handmade treats for the employees as well.
• The Hazard ARH volunteers continue service to the facility’s cancer center. The auxiliary purchased blankets for all of the cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. The group also purchased two $25 gas cards per week for one full year that were given to patients at the Cancer Center that needed assistance with transportation as part of the center’s patient assistance fund.
• During the year, the auxiliary also gives each new baby born at Hazard ARH a stuffed bear and a blanket.
• The volunteers also provide children that visit the ER or outpatient services with an ARH bear and provide coloring books and crayons to young patients throughout the hospital.
• Volunteers also continually staff the facility’s gift shop which is open 7 days a week, staff the hospital’s information desk, and staff the cancer resource area in the Cancer Center.

Mary Breckinridge ARH Hospital
• 6 Members
• Averages about 80 hours of service per month
• The auxiliary at Mary Breckinridge ARH assisted the hospital with participating in the community’s annual Mary Breckinridge Festival. The auxiliary funded the petting zoo during this event and ensured that it could be offered to the public, free of charge.
• The Mary Breckinridge ARH auxiliary partnered with the Hazard ARH gift shop to offer a special Christmas merchandise sale for the facility’s employees. A jewelry fundraising sale was also held earlier in the year.

McDowell ARH Hospital
• 9 Members
• Averages about 137 Hours of service per month
• The volunteers contributed $8,700 to the hospital in 2015.
• The auxiliary donated a defibrillator for the ARH Wayland Clinic, which is located 8 miles from the hospital.
• The largest fundraiser for the auxiliary this year was the Tree of Life tree lighting ceremony at Christmas. This is the third year that McDowell ARH had hosted one of these events. The auxiliary purchased a 15 foot Christmas tree this year and sold lights “in memory” or in “honor of” many loved ones in the community.
• The auxiliary also sponsored several fundraising events during the year.
• Auxiliary members also continue to operate their refreshment cart in the hospital for visitors and patients and makes daily visits to our patients taking them an afternoon snack.

Middlesboro ARH Hospital
• 4 Members
• Contributed $1,000 to the hospital in 2015.
• In 2015, the Middlesboro ARH Volunteers assisted with the facility’s annual Paint the Mall PINK! Event to raise funds for breast cancer awareness. The volunteers made special pink ribbons and added the names of breast cancer survivors for the Survivor Wall and the names of loved ones who died from the disease on the Memorial Wall. Middlesboro auxiliary members also assisted with decorating and staffing the various Middlesboro ARH Lunch & Learn events for women throughout the year.
• Auxiliary members also assisted with the facility’s lunch and learn events by assisting with decorations and serving at the events.
• The volunteers also provided balloons to children in the hospital around July 4.
• The volunteers assisted with other community events that the hospital sponsors throughout the year.

Morgan County ARH Hospital
• 30 Members
• Averages about 206 hours of service per month
• Contributed approximately $2,000 to the hospital in 2015.
• During 2015, the Morgan County Auxiliary planned a remodel of the fountain and break area outside the hospital. Several auxiliary members and hospital staff meet with Morehead State University horticultural students and have approved a design. Project start date is slated for the summer of 2016.
• The Morgan County Auxiliary continues its service at the facility’s help desk, staffing the gift shop, and ensuring the hospital grounds and flower gardens are kept up.
• The auxiliary members have also been involved in many hospital events including the pediatric health fair, adult health fair, pretty in pink community reception, and Go Red for Women community reception.
• The Morgan County ARH Auxiliary also continues to award their annual scholarship. The scholarship is designed to aid students who will be entering a healthcare career and are either ARH employees or family members of ARH employees or volunteers.

Summers County ARH Hospital
• 28 active members
• Averages about 585 hours of service per month.
• The volunteers have been working with staff to see how they can be involved in upcoming projects. Their goal is to financially help with the upcoming ER renovation project.
• The auxiliary has hosted bake sales, Mother’s Day raffle basket, and Christmas Bazaar Sale to raise money for the hospital.
• The auxiliary also continues to raise funds through their Friendship Tree project. On a monthly basis, the auxiliary members sell paper ornaments for the tree with the name of the person being honored or in memoriam. Each month the tree’s theme goes along with the holiday or season for that month and it is located in the hospital’s front lobby.
• The members volunteer at the local blood mobile.
• The Auxiliary members also continue to staff the hospital’s gift shop, and the members help direct patients and visitors to registration, inpatient rooms, and various locations around the facility.

Whitesburg ARH Hospital
• 24 Members
• Averages about 250 Hours of service per month
• Contributed about $6,000 to the hospital in 2015
• The Whitesburg ARH Auxiliary’s nominated program this year is the auxiliary’s partnership with The Calvary Campus, a mission retreat center located in Blackey, Kentucky. The auxiliary asked if the various church and civic groups that visit The Calvary Campus each year would be interested in making prayer pillow cases and lap quilts for Whitesburg ARH’s patients. This idea for the lap quilts and pillow cases have become so popular that many of the churches have taken this idea back to their local communities and are doing it there as well.
• The Whitesburg ARH Auxiliary continues to offer their Healthcare Professions Scholarship. The $500 scholarship is available to one senior student at both Letcher County Central High School and at Jenkins Independent High Schools.
• The group has pledged to provide small caskets for stillborn newborns at the hospital so that the parents do not have to be burdened with making that purchase during that difficult time.
• The volunteers have also been purchasing children’s books and donating them to the clinic so that children can take them home when they have an appointment.
• The Whitesburg auxiliary also annually conducts two fundraising bazaars, assists the facility with fundraising for the Relay for Life, and conducts their annual Tree of Life holiday fundraising event.

Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) system, is a not-for-profit health system operating 11 hospitals, multi-specialty physician practices, home health agencies, home medical equipment stores and retail pharmacies in Kentucky and West Virginia. ARH employs nearly 5,000 people with an annual payroll and benefits of $297 million generated into our local economies. ARH also has a network of more than 600 active and courtesy medical staff members. ARH is the largest provider of care and single largest employer in southeastern Kentucky and the third largest private employer in southern West Virginia, and is consistently recognized for its medical excellence.

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