Volunteers at HUP bring giving to a new level. This past year, more than 950 helped patients, visitors and staff in over 70 departments, contributing more than 66,000 hours of service.
Joseph Casertano (l.) with Mark Brooks, who received this year’s Volunteer Achievement Award.
“It’s such an impressive list of all you do,” said Al Black, HUP’s chief operating officer, at this year’s volunteer recognition event. “We can’t do what we do without our volunteers. You instill spirit and innovation and energy. You are the best of the best.”
Each year Volunteer Services awards special recognition to a single volunteer who truly goes above and beyond in all he or she does. This year’s Volunteer Achievement Award went to Mark Brooks, a greeter at the Perelman Center. Since 2003, when Brooks came on board, he has put in 2,000 hours of service. “He is a treasured asset to the team, ready to serve patients and visitors,” said Donna Griffith, director of Volunteer Services, “no matter what the weather.”
Perelman Center host Joseph Casertano who works with Brooks, noted, “He’s faithful and reliable and always has a smile on his face. He is the man behind the curtain who makes the show a success.”
The Team Builder award acknowledges a group of people who work together to teach volunteers and make them feel welcome. This year, members of the Abramson Cancer Center Reiki program won this honor. Reiki is a gentle touch practice that helps reduce stress and encourages relaxation and feelings of peace and well being. Between March 2010 and 2011, volunteers provided more than 2,000 Reiki sessions to cancer patients and their families, and staff.
The final award of the celebration recognized an employee who has mentored many students in the Start on Success program, which pairs students from University City High School with HUP employees. “Rosalyn Harris exemplifies a positive role model,” said Karen Kelly- Nickens, a teacher at UCHS, in presenting Harris with the program’s Mentor of the Year award. Harris volunteers in Lori’s Gift Shop.
In addition to announcing top volunteers, Griffith introduced two new groups that joined HUP’s volunteer ranks this year. Juliane Jablonski, MSN, RN, CCRN, CCNS, of Rhoads 5, created HUP’s Pup, the animal therapy program, with Griffith. She spoke briefly about the program which has received rave reviews from everyone. “Volunteers make this happen,” she said, noting that the majority of dog owners in the program work at HUP. “We truly appreciate what you do.”
Mary Walton, MSN, RN, director of Patient/Family Centered Care, spoke about the newly formed Patient and Family Advisory Council, part of HUP’s patient and family centered care initiative. The 15-member council will partner with the hospital on many aspects of patient care to promote a more healing environment that promotes family presence.
Roslyn Harris, winner of 2011 Mentor of the Year Award.
Members of the Reiki Program received this year’s Team Builder Award (l. to r.): Mary Ellen Bogacki (volunteer), Vince Gihool (volunteer), Margaret Lazaar, (administrative director of Patient and Family Services), Lustra Sone (volunteer), Sandy Blackburn (patient support specialist), Christine Peacock (volunteer), Sharon Edelman (volunteer), and Lynn Hutchinson (volunteer).