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To Our Volunteers: Thank You!

April 24, 2017

You'll find them in almost every part of the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA).

Some are immediately recognizable in their rust colour vests. Others you may pass in the hall and catch their position inscribed on their identification badge.

They keep our patients company when family members can't be there, direct patients to their appointments, plan special events and fundraisers, offer smiles and words of encouragement, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

They are in patient care areas, in our Gift Shops and Coffee Shop, in our Board Rooms, in the community and well as we mentioned almost every part of our four hospital sites in Clinton, St. Marys, Seaforth and Stratford!

They are all ages and come from diverse backgrounds; retired professionals, students and those who are new to our communities. Some are former staff members and others are interested in a career in a healthcare related field. Those new to our communities are looking to make new friendships and strong connections and others are happy with the care they or their loved one experienced and want to give back. Some have been with us for 60 years!

They are our volunteers and they are over 400 strong!

“At HPHA we are very fortunate that so many volunteers have chosen us to share their gifts of time and talents to help improve our patients' experiences,” says Cheryl Hunt, Corporate Lead Volunteer Services. “Our volunteers work in more than 20 areas of the hospital along with raising funds to purchase medical equipment. In 2016, our volunteers provided more than 42,000 hours of service along with raising funds to purchase much-needed medical equipment."

National Volunteer Week, April 23 - 29, is a time to recognize and celebrate the millions of Canadian volunteers for their gracious donations of time and energy. It is Canada's largest celebration of volunteers, volunteerism and civic participation.

“Quite simply, we could not provide the high quality care that we do without our dedicated volunteers,” added Andrew Williams,   President and CEO. “I marvel at how they “show up,” day after day, bringing so much value, support and caring to our patients, their families and to our staff.”

Each year HPHA hosts a Volunteer Appreciation Lunch, and this year is no exception. Besides it being an afternoon of fun and fellowship, it also allows HPHA to recognize volunteers with Long Service Awards.

This year 68 volunteers will receive Long Service Awards: 22 five-year recipients; 10 ten-year recipients; 5 fifteen-year recipients; 9 twenty-year recipients; 5 twenty-five-year recipients; 3 thirty-year recipients; 2 thirty-five-year recipient; combined this is 750 years of dedication.  We also have 11 members in our "Over 40" club who combined have 531 years of dedication!

“We really can't thank our volunteers enough!” emphasizes Williams. “Not only do their actions make HPHA a better organization to receive care, but also Huron and Perth Counties a better place to live.”

As well, in celebration of Volunteer Week, we asked our volunteers why they chose to volunteer at HPHA and are happy to share some of their responses below!

  • Volunteering is something I do for me. I find the people I interact with teach and give me back far more than I think I give. I always tell people the reason why I do this is to ensure programs will be their when myself or my family needs them. So I will continue to help and encourage more people to volunteer. - Marsha, Clinton Public Hospital Auxiliary

  • In my experience, volunteering with the Rehab Program at HPHA is nothing short of a ‘win-win' situation. I enjoy the heartwarming feeling I derive from extending a friendly smile, support and helping hand, to sharing conversations. It seems to cheer the patients and provide joy to brighten their morale on an otherwise ordinary, routine day. It is a gift which enriches not only their morale, but also mine. It is great to provide an opportunity for them to share their interesting life stories and hear what has shaped their lives to make them who they are. It is also a huge eye opener to make one appreciate independence and the benefits of active, healthy lifestyles.  We are so very fortunate to have such positive, motivational and skillful Rehabilitation professionals delivering exceptional care to restore functionality to return patients to a favorable quality of life. It is truly fascinating to witness the positive outcomes and improvement achievable through the delivery of their therapy. - Grace, Seaforth Community Hospital Auxiliary

  • I find volunteering incredibly satisfying. It makes me feel good! It takes me away from my every day life and let's me help and do for others. I volunteer for the Auxiliary because I think our hospital is important in our town. The money the Auxiliary makes at our fundraisers and through our gift shop goes directly back into the hospital to purchase items the hospital needs. I have had to use the hospital services many times and this way I am giving back a bit. - Cathie, St. Marys Memorial Hospital Auxiliary

  • One of the driving push for me to become a Volunteer, I wanted to give back.  Eight years ago when I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer I was devastated and my life changed from going to work every day to going to medical appointments. The care I received at HPHA was superb. The Nurses, Doctors, Technicians always made me feel calm when I was so scared inside. By explaining every procedure and answering all my questions and being so compassionate it made a terrifying event something I could control and deal with.  I will never be able to pay back what HPHA did for me, but I am trying. - Cheryl, Volunteers of SGH

For more information about volunteering at HPHA, please contact Cheryl Hunt, Corporate Lead Volunteer Services at cheryl.hunt@hpha.caor 519-272-8210 extension 2551 or click here to explore current volunteer opportunities.