FMC Volunteers Make a Difference with Record Year

Volunteer Coordinator Heidi Reed, CDVS, was beaming when she reviewed the 2016 contributions made by FMC Volunteers. “I’m so proud of how our volunteers sacrifice their time and energy to the hospital. It’s the epitome of our Common Purpose.”

Last year, our 225 volunteers donated an unprecedented 40,118 hours of service to 40 different departments at the main campus and at our satellite locations. That’s a 25% increase over 2015, which also had been a record year. In monetary terms, their service was valued at the equivalent of more than 19 full-time employees.

Their contribution is much more than money; it affects the overall quality of customer care as they complement the excellent service provided by our healthcare professionals, and convert our Common Purpose into actions that strongly influence our community’s impression of the care that it receives at FMC. Eighty-two percent of volunteers interact with patients and visitors, often helping to form our customers’ first impressions when they approach our information or registration stations.

It goes beyond that: Last year, for instance, volunteers assisted 1,300 people who were affected by cancer, which included conducting yoga and Tai Chi classes for 350 cancer patients and survivors. Volunteers also served more than 7,000 refreshments to visitors. And our 10 pet therapy teams visited more than 2,500 patients and visitors. “Volunteers make an important impact on the overall patient and visitor experience,” said Heidi, who also sits on the board of the Ohio Healthcare Volunteer Management Association. “Our program is dynamic. At a time when most adult volunteer programs are stagnant or shrinking, we added 90 new volunteers last year. Best of all, our 90% retention rate outpaces the state’s 65% average. People like volunteering here, and it shows in their work, their positive attitudes, and the fact that they don’t leave.” FMC volunteers range in age from 16 to 92. Sixty percent of our volunteers are 65 or older. “One of my challenges going forward is to increase the number of high school-aged and college-aged volunteers,” Heidi said. Last year, teen volunteers contributed an impressive 1,092 hours.

Volunteers also help support the FMC Foundation. The Dale Buck Volunteer Fund raises money twice each year with its $5 Jewelry Sale. Two years ago, the Fund purchased 20 much-needed wheelchairs for the hospital. It also supports the cookie cart that adds to the comfort of our visitors. The next $5 Jewelry Sale is April 27-28 in the assembly rooms, and everyone is encouraged to shop and support this outstanding cause.

If you’d like to volunteer, or know someone who might enjoy volunteering, there is always a need for more. Contact Heidi Reed at 8109, or heidire@fmchealth.org.

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