National Volunteer Week is a time to celebrate and recognize the contributions of those who willingly donate their time and efforts to serve others.
Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) is proud of the 345 individuals who volunteer at its hospitals in Kentucky and West Virginia.
“Volunteers are essential to the overall care provided at all ARH facilities,” says ARH President and CEO Joe Grossman. “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, all of our volunteers are an important part of the ARH health care team.”
ARH volunteers understand the importance of service to others and their communities.
At Middlesboro ARH Hospital, Chaplain William Thompson has served as a chaplain for 20 years, visiting patients almost every day — even when he is not on call. Thompson shares, “I appreciate what ARH does for our community, and I want to help them make a difference. I know many of the hospital staff and when members of the church are sick and in the hospital, I have the opportunity to minister to their spiritual needs. When asked what he likes most about volunteering, Thompson says, “I love people, and I want to help those who are sick and afraid. I encourage anyone who wants to help others to volunteer at their local ARH hospital.”
Beckley ARH Chaplain Denise Moore shares why she volunteers: “I like dealing with all different kinds of people just like Jesus did. Being a chaplain gives me the opportunity to pray for everyone because people in the hospital really need you.” When asked why she chose to volunteer at Beckley ARH, Chaplain Moore says, “I’ve seen firsthand the excellent care the staff give their patients, and how good ARH is to their employees. I enjoy being a part of the team.”
At Hazard Appalachian Regional Medical Center, Ernestine Hensley has been volunteering in the Auxiliary for over 27 years. “I first came to the Hazard hospital to lead the Rainbow Girls. That’s what the ladies group was called then,” shares Hensley. “Later, we were renamed the Ladies Auxiliary. I’m still here because I simply love volunteering at the hospital.” When asked what she likes most, Hensley says, “I know just about everybody who comes into the hospital, and I enjoy welcoming them and helping them find where they need to go. It’s about helping people.”
Retired teacher Martha Raye Mosley volunteers in the Ladies Auxiliary at Mary Breckinridge ARH. According to Hospital Administrator Mallie Noble, Mosley does not know a stranger and greets everyone with a friendly smile as she welcomes them to the hospital. When Mosley was asked what she likes most about volunteering, she shares, “I enjoy greeting and talking with the people, and seeing many of my past students.”
McDowell ARH Auxiliary member Ogie Slone enjoys volunteering in the hospital gift shop. Slone shares: “The reason I chose to volunteer at McDowell ARH Hospital is because the pay is EXCELLENT! I am “paid” in meeting new friends and making connections with old acquaintances. I enjoy staying connected to our community and I am personally rewarded in knowing that I am helping others in their time of need.”
Volunteer Bridget Murphy at Morgan County ARH shares: “My mother retired from Fairfield Medical Center in Lancaster, Ohio and immediately signed up as a volunteer. She received such joy and fulfillment from her service to the hospital and volunteered until her death in 2012. I wished to continue her legacy of volunteerism, so I joined the Morgan County ARH Auxiliary upon my retirement in 2013. I enjoy working with all the wonderful people affiliated with our hospital, both staff and volunteers, and I try to bring a cheerful smile to the gift shop patrons.” At Whitesburg ARH Hospital
Volunteer Leigh Lewis Blankenbeckler shares: “My mother volunteered at Whitesburg ARH for many years until her death. In fact, my mother was with hospital auxiliary members when she passed away. Because of this, we share a very special bond now that I volunteer at Whitesburg ARH.” When asked what she likes most about volunteering, Blankenbeckler says: “I am honored to wear my Mother’s smock, following in her footsteps, and giving my time and energy to help others. I consider volunteering a privilege and it is a commitment that I take very seriously.”
District Elder Thomas Moore, a Chaplain at Williamson ARH Hospital shares: “I choose to be a Chaplain because I have the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people; and spread the gospel as I minister to so many who feel forsaken and feel like no one cares about them anymore.” When asked what he likes most about his volunteer work, Moore says: “I like being able to reassure the sick and broken hearted of God’s unconditional love, and that God will never leave them nor forsake them.”
If you are looking for an opportunity to give back to your community, please consider volunteering in some capacity at one of our ARH facilities. Call your local ARH hospital for volunteer opportunities.