ARH Volunteers Honored at Annual Celebration


Whether it is 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 225 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 on Thursday, April 11 at the Barbourville First United Methodist Church in Barbourville, Ky. Approximately 100 volunteers and staff members attended the event, representing 12 ARH communities. During the event, attendees enjoyed guest speakers, entertainment, a meal, and awards were presented.

During the Volunteer Appreciation Event, the Harlan ARH Hospital Auxiliary was presented with the Outstanding ARH Auxiliary Program of the Year Award for their youth volunteer collaboration project.

With 20 members, the Harlan ARH Auxiliary averages about 147 Hours of service per month, and their volunteers have donated around $6,400 to the hospital within the last year. Last year the volunteers expressed concern about the lack of service opportunities for motivated young people in the community and wanted to offer the chance to help those willing to serve. They reached out to the high school students enrolled in the certified nurse aide training program, located on the Harlan campus of Southeast KCTCS, which happens to be across the street from the hospital.

About 12 students from that program, who are also members of the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA), were offered the opportunity to serve as teen volunteers in the hospital. These students were able to earn community service hours for their organization and also enhance customer service to ARH’s patients by using their initial level of CNA training to supplement the hospital nursing staff in both the acute medical-surgical unit and the Emergency Department in appropriate and supervised ways. This began in the fall of 2018 and the students’ first hospital shifts were scheduled to coincide with their Christmas holiday. One of the students worked over 200 service hours at the hospital between December 20 and February 28. The auxiliary members followed this up by donating sufficient funds to the Harlan County HOSA Chapter to allow participating members to attend their organization’s state convention in Louisville. This project showed the auxiliary members the value of expanding their vision in ways that can build upon the ARH mission to be a partner in service to the people in the community.

Also honored during the volunteer appreciation event, were three volunteers who received the ARH President’s Award for Volunteer Service. ARH started awarding the President’s Award for Volunteer Service 10 years ago in an effort to recognize specific individuals that have contributed greatly to our hospitals and our communities through their volunteer service.

The ARH President’s Award for Volunteer Service Winners included:
Patty Justice has been involved with the Tug Valley ARH Auxiliary for the past 33 years and has served in all capacities including buyer, scheduler, secretary, treasurer and was recently elected as president. During the years the gift shop did not have a buyer, Patty stepped up to the plate to ensure the shop had fresh, new items.

Patty always is ready to fill in for another volunteer and is looking for new recruits for the Tug Valley ARH Auxiliary.

Polly Sizemore from Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center Auxiliary has faithfully served as a volunteer for 17 years, averaging about 175 hours of service a year. Polly works alongside her husband Eddie in the gift shop every Wednesday and is truly dedicated to working her shift each and every week.

Polly also recently started volunteering in the Rehabilitation Department and visiting extended stay patients every week. She plays games with them, reads to them and simply offers them a friendly face and conversation. Polly is always looking for extra ways to make them feel special. For example, on Valentine’s Day she brought special gifts for the rehab patients. Polly also serves on the scholarship committee for the auxiliary.

Rita Vest from Morgan County ARH Hospital has been a very dedicated volunteer for the past eight years, providing approximately 250 hours of service each year. She has acted as the gift shop manager at Morgan County ARH for several years now and has a way of arranging the gift shop to make it look like it is fresh out of a magazine.

Rita is also a pillar of the Morgan County community. She is a member of the Morgan County Woman’s Club and takes enjoyment in annually preparing 1,500 biscuits and 45 hams during the Sorghum Festival. She also assists with organizing a community dinner for volunteer firefighters and their families. Rita is always full of energy and enthusiastic about taking care of others.

Photo Cutline for Outstanding Program:
Harlan ARH Hospital Auxiliary receives an award for their Outstanding Program. Pictured in front holding a silver tray is Joey Brassfield. First row (left to right) Joe Grossman, ARH President and CEO, Shirley Hornsby, Marie Burnette, Ann Middleton, June Sutton. Next row: Evelyn Hopkins, Helen Caldwell, Yvonne Hoskins, Glenda Greene, Donnie Fields, Community CEO at Harlan ARH Hospital. On the top row: Mark Bell, Harlan ARH Patient and Community Advocate.

Photo Cutline for Awards 1:
The ARH President’s Award was presented to Rita Vest (at left) and Patty Justice (on the right) by ARH President and CEO Joe Grossman.

Photo Cutline for Awards 2:
Polly Sizemore also won the ARH President’s Award but was unable to attend the annual celebration. In the photo she holds the award in front of the Gift Shop at Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center.

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