“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.” — Elizabeth Andrew
This year, National Volunteer Week falls during the week of April 19-April 25. The week provides Prairie Mountain Health (PMH) with another opportunity to celebrate and recognize all of our volunteers who give freely of their time year-round. PMH sincerely appreciates the difference our volunteers and volunteer organizations make to the health and well-being of the patients, residents and clients we serve. Thanks for all that you do!
PMH asked for potential volunteer recognition submissions from its sites, facilities and programs. The following are articles that were submitted for recognition this year:
Violily's Brave Buddies
I have to highlight this little girl in our community for National Volunteer Week, and hopefully she can get a little shout out to recognize her for the extremely kind donation she made to the Neepawa Hospital.
We have already had the opportunity to use these stuffies and it certainly makes a difference to the patient! Sometimes it’s the little things..
Thanks a lot!
Clinical Resource Nurse
Volunteer Program Alive and Well in Killarney
Meanwhile, in Killarney! Our Volunteer Program down here is alive & well! Our facility, Tri-Lake Health Center, as well as our community is blessed with many volunteer hands & hearts and has well over 100 registered volunteers of all ages, as well as many more musical groups & entertainers and so much more! Our Recreation Program is full of excitement & fun—many of our programs couldn’t run without the many helping hands of our dedicated Volunteers. Our residents in our Care Home & our clients from Acute benefit from Friendly Visitors, Personal Shopping, Bingo Programs, Birthday Parties, Social Hour Program, Be-A-Friend Program with school aged children, Spiritual Programs, weekly Church Services, Outings, Seasonal Events, Plant Care, many Music Programs, Special Meal Programs, & more! Our Volunteers also ensure delivery of Meals-On-Wheels to members in our community. The dedication and commitment of our volunteers is simply AMAZING! To quote one of our dedicated volunteers when asked what she loves about volunteering, “I get so much more from volunteering than what I give. I think every volunteer would say the same. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people. I’ve been very lucky to have not only spend time with new people, I also get to know their whole family! I encourage everyone to get involved with volunteering.”. (Wishes to stay anonymous).
VOLUNTEERS—WE HONOR YOU & WE CELEBRATE ALL YOU GIVE. THANK YOU!
Volunteer Program Coordinator, Killarney MB
Westman Lab Volunteers
Hazel volunteers Monday mornings in the Outpatient department at Westman Lab. She has been coming every week since September 2016 and always arrives with a cheerful smile, ready to start the day. We appreciate all she does for us, and the care and compassion she provides to our patients. Thank you Hazel!
Barb dedicates three mornings of her time every week in the Outpatient department at Westman Lab. She started with us in August 2018 and we are grateful to have her as part of our team. She has a passion for volunteering and her bright, uplifting personality is always welcomed by staff and patients. Thank you Barb!
Cheryl volunteers Thursday mornings in the Outpatient department at Westman Lab. She started with us in May 2017 and she’s considered a very valuable asset to our department. We can always count on her to keep us on track and organized. Her welcoming, friendly nature is always appreciated. Thank you Cheryl!
Dorothy de Vries - A Life of Volunteering
Dorothy de Vries is a retired RN, PHN, and the first Public Health Nurse in Ste. Rose. She took her training at Grace General Hospital in Winnipeg and graduated from the University of Manitoba. She worked in Community Health and often at the Gendreau Home, spending her entire career in Ste. Rose du Lac, as well as marrying and raising her two children. She later taught the Health Care Aide program at ACC.
Volunteering has been a way of life for Dorothy de Vries ever since she was a teenager. With parents who volunteered, it became a normal part of their lives. Over the years she has volunteered as a secretary, pianist, Sunday School teacher, youth leader and worship leader, but her passion is volunteering for the elderly, and she sees a vast need for palliative volunteers. Dorothy recalls her first experience as a student nurse comforting a dying, anxious patient. Holding their hand, calming them with her presence as they passed away, showed Dorothy what a peaceful, holy moment death could be and how important it is to be with someone in this moment. It touched her heart and taught Dorothy how important presence is – not heroic, just presence.
When Dorothy retired after 38 years, she wanted to continue to work with the elderly because, “…there is a need. The day is too long for the elderly.” Dorothy acknowledges how busy the staff is, and how volunteering can bring those “little extra benefits that sparks their day”.
Dorothy encourages everyone to volunteer, in whatever area they are comfortable. Dorothy volunteers at the Gendreau Personal Care Home many times a week, playing piano, singing, visiting, assisting with activities, and providing palliative care when needed. She states, “It doesn’t matter how long you spend [with a resident], it helps to pass their day; time they would otherwise be alone.” Dorothy loves the appreciation she receives from staff, and especially the residents and families; knowing she makes a difference. For Dorothy, she feels volunteering “…is a calling…giving inner satisfaction.” as well as a testimony to her faith of showing the love of Jesus to others.
Dorothy believes there are fewer volunteers today because of the time commitment, and being inwardly focused instead of outwardly and community focused. She also believes that some people may be afraid of palliative care because of their own fear of dying and the unknown associated with that. However, she believes that no one should die alone, that not everyone has family and offers her calming presence. Dorothy believes that palliative training would assist with that fear, especially for the lay person. She remembers teaching palliative care in her Health Care Aide training, and how enlightening, helpful and compassionate they found the training.
She recounts how others could not understand her choice to sit with the dying, until they lose a loved one. Then they realize how important it is to have that support, and sometimes that experience will lead others to also volunteer. She says, “It can be something you fear until you experience it.”
Dorothy remembers receiving the gift of time and care from volunteers when her own parents were in palliative care; the visits, meals, compassion. She said, “It made me feel good that people cared for you when you needed to be cared for…That my church was praying for me. I experienced how important receiving is, and the giving of time.”
Dorothy encourages, “Volunteering is very fulfilling…and it’s encouraging for the client and the family and the staff…just try it! It’s fun!”
If you are interested in volunteering, contact your local Personal Care Home or Hospital.
-Submitted by Melanie Ironstand, Spiritual Care Coordinator, Ste. Rose General Hospital
Influenza Immunization Volunteers
Volunteers are an Integral Component of Prairie Mountain Health’s Community Influenza Immunization Campaign.
The PMH Public Health program is responsible for the coordination and delivery of community influenza immunization clinics. In 2019, the campaign ran from October 21st to November 29th inclusive, and included 104 community clinics in 69 PMH communities. During this campaign over 15 000 clients were immunized. Each year, over 150 volunteers around the region help to make this happen!
Volunteers welcome community members into the clinic reception area with warm smiles and kind words. They assist those that need an extra helping hand, and ensure clinics run smoothly by directing people to immunization nurses and waiting areas. We truly appreciate the invaluable contribution PMH volunteers make at community influenza immunization clinics, and we are grateful to have them as part of our team!
BRHC Volunteer Program
This winter we asked the volunteers to walk the red carpet for a photo for our Wall of Fame. Pictured here are just a few from our team!!
Your kindness, dedication, and eagerness to help are valued. We applaud you for all that you do.