2014 HAVE Award Winners 


Community Service Programs

Mercy Hospital Pet Peace of Mind Program for Hospice Patients
Mercy Health System
Janesville, WI
Javon R. Bea, President & CEO

Accepting award:  Volunteer Laura Bergeron

The Mercy Hospice Pet Care Program was developed to support hospice patients and the concerns of their pets. Called Pet Peace of Mind, it helps by stabilizing and supporting the patient’s relationship with their pet in the midst of coping with a hospice diagnosis and allowing hospice staff to manage their care. It reduces the financial burden of residual medical, living and prescription drug expenses that hospice doesn’t cover.

The program’s focus is to preserve the relationship between the patient and their pet. Clinical staff provide services that support the patient and ease concerns, including daily care chores (walking, cleaning cat box, etc.), financial assistance with pet food or medication, routine veterinary care, boarding or pet sitting if patient is hospitalized or transferred to facility, arranging visits and providing placement for pets after the patient’s death.

Developed in partnership with the Banfield Charitable Trust, the Pet Peace of Mind is a proven resource that offers relief during a difficult period in the patient’s life.  

The program accepts dogs, cats, birds, fish—virtually any legal pet. The program currently has nine volunteers trained to work with the pets. Services and care offered varies based on need. One request was from a “Make a Wish” patient who wanted to give his wife a puppy so his spouse would not be alone after he passed. Another patient was bed-ridden and required support house-breaking a puppy. All efforts help the organization achieve its goal to recognize and actively support the relationship between patients and their pets during their time in hospice.

Community Outreach and/or Collaboration

Operation “Sock-It-To-Me”
Northwest Medical Center Bentonville
Bentonville, AR
Dan McKay, President

Accepting award:  Volunteer BJ Johannsen

Operation “Sock-It-To-Me” was a new sock drive for needy children of Benton County, Arkansas.  It was born out of the need to insure that area children have warm feet in the winter.  It may seem like a small thing not to have socks to warm your feet, until you are the one without socks -- an experience shared by one of the auxiliary members who was brought up in a children’s home in the1940’s. She knew first-hand how important something as small as a pair of socks is to a child.  The auxiliary wanted to implement a program that would reach beyond the hospital walls and touch the community in a tangible way.   

Operation “Sock-It-To-Me” volunteers placed a large baby crib in the hospital cafeteria decorated with red, black and white ribbon which served as the collection point for all socks as they came in. Decorated boxes were placed in work areas throughout the hospital to make it easier for each department to participate.  Each week, socks from the boxes were placed in the crib. All the employees and visitors watched as the number of sock donations flourished.

Operation “Sock-It-To-Me” was advertised in the local newspapers and on the radio and prompted two Arvest Bank branches and the Christian Women’s Club of Bella Vista to participate in the campaign.  The goal was to collect 1,000 pairs of socks to donate to five local charities.  The volunteers exceeded their goal and collected 1,960 pairs of sock!  

The success of the program is a great tribute to the hospital employees, and the communities in Northwest Arkansas; but most of all, the awesome work of all 120 hospital volunteers.

Fundraising Programs

Women Working Wonders
Sparrow Hospital
Lansing, MI
Dennis Swan, President & CEO

Accepting award:  Volunteer Lisa Hildorf

Women Working Wonders (W3) is a volunteer group dedicated to improving health care services for women in the Mid-Michigan region.  The goal of the group is to help Sparrow Hospital become the region’s premier advocate for women’s health by developing the financial resources to provide women the best education and preventative medicine possible. To date, the outcome of their efforts have been nearly a million dollars in funds raised to support women’s health services.

W3 provided a gift of $350,000 to purchase two pieces of equipment to help in the detection and treatment of breast cancer. The items included a state of the art Sterotactic Breast biopsy machine and a MicroSelection HDR V2.

Over the last eleven years, the committee has raised close to $1 million to support women’s health in their community. They developed two signature events – the 5k/OK Run/Walk/Revitalize event and Dapper Dads. The unique aspect of both events is how W3 volunteers engaged local businesses to participate and garnered their support during tough economic challenges.

With the Dapper Dad's event, the volunteers recruited men to serve as "Dapper Dads" and they were asked to raise funds to compete against each other for the #1 Dapper Dad. The top 13 Dads with the most donations received a spot on the Women Working Wonder's calendar.  The event typically generates over $100,000 each year.

In-Service Hospital Volunteer Programs

Brain Injury Voices
New England Rehabilitation Hospital of Portland
Portland, ME
Jeanine Chesley, CEO

Accepting award:  Volunteer Carole Starr

Brain Injury Voices is an innovative volunteer group meeting held at the New England Rehabilitation Hospital of Portland (NERH-P) whose mission is threefold -- to educate medical professionals about brain injury from the survivor point of view, to advocate for the importance of brain injury rehabilitation services, and to support other survivors through peer mentoring.

Brain Injury Voices grew out of the NERH-P brain injury support group in April 2010 as a way for former patients to “pay it forward” and make a difference.  Since that time they have volunteered nearly 5000 hours as educators, advocates and mentors, impacting hundreds of NERH-P patients.  That number is even more impressive considering that all ten members of Brain Injury Voices are brain injury survivors who cope daily with the many symptoms of brain injury.

As educators, members of Brain Injury Voices give regular lunch-n-learn presentations to staff at NERH-P.  Each Spring, Brain Injury Voices has organized and delivered an evening educational workshop for patients and families focused on strategies for living successfully with brain injury.  This proved so successful that it was expanded into a day-long conference.

As advocates, Brain Injury Voices’ members want both state and national policymakers and the general public to recognize that although rehabilitation services like those provided by NERH-P are costly and time intensive, they are absolutely crucial for survivors’ recovery process and truly change lives.  They regularly present to the state Acquired Brain Injury Advisory Council.

As peer mentors, members of Brain Injury Voices meet with both inpatients and outpatients at NERH-P and use their personal experiences as survivors to validate, motivate and inspire.  They have a unique and valuable authority; the authority that comes from having “lived it”.  Mentors encourage patients to try new strategies and invest in their therapy.   

For more information, please contact Joan Ryzner, AHA Director of Member Relations, at jryzner@aha.org.


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