Press Release

AHA Awards Four Hospital Volunteer Programs

The American Hospital Association (AHA) honored four hospital volunteer programs with the Hospital Awards for Volunteer Excellence (HAVE).  The AHA HAVE Awards Program is in its 23rd year and highlights the extraordinary efforts of volunteer programs and the positive impact their contributions have on the patients, hospitals, health systems and the communities they serve.

The winners fall into four categories: community service programs; in-service hospital volunteer programs; fundraising programs; and community outreach and/or collaboration programs.  Recipients of this year’s prestigious awards hail from Oregon, Maine, Illinois and Pennsylvania.  Representatives from these winning programs received their awards at the HAVE Award Luncheon on Sunday, April 30, 2006 during the AHA Annual Membership Meeting in Washington. 

The 2006 HAVE winners are:

Community Service Programs
Care Van Transportation Program
Silverton Hospital, Silverton, Ore.      
Initiated in 1990, Silverton Hospital’s Care Van Transportation Program provides rides to and from medical appointments for those without means of travel.  In its rural service area, distance is sometimes an obstacle to medical access and there were no other providers to meet this need.  Early support came from a local car dealer who donated the first vans.  Grant funding from the Oregon Department of Transportation helped expand the program.  Currently, Care Van has 6 vans, 20 volunteer drivers and 15 volunteer dispatchers.  In 2005, the Care Van Transportation Program received grant funds of $119,000, which was used to purchase three new vans equipped for the medical needs of its patients.  Care Van’s volunteers provide vital access for Silverton Hospital’s most dependent and needy patients.

In-Service Hospital Volunteer Programs
Contract for Care
Franklin Community Health Network, Farmington, Maine
Contract for Care is an in-service hospital volunteer program that allows patients the opportunity to work off a bill that they cannot afford to pay.  The voluntary program allows a patient or former patient to use his or her unique skills to contribute to the hospital and community through a wide range of available projects.  Contract for Care works to improve the confidence of patients who could not otherwise afford to pay their hospital bills, and makes a substantial contribution to the life and culture of the hospital and local community.  For example, one patient who made $2,000 quilts created a quilt for display in the hospital as part of her Contract for Care agreement.  A self-employed auto body repairman fixed a hospital vehicle as payment toward his hospital bill.  Contract for Care helps increase the public’s understanding of the core mission of Franklin Community Health Network, which is to provide care to all, regardless of a patient’s ability to pay. Contract for Care replaces bill collecting with opportunity and dignity for the community it serves.  Over 200 individuals have participated in Contract for Care.

Fundraising Programs
Putting It Together Teen Style
Provena St. Mary’s Hospital (PSMH), Kankakee, Ill.

Provena St. Mary’s Volunteer Services developed “Putting It Together Teen Style,” an exciting new innovative program where local teens produced, directed and hosted a fundraising event for their community.  “Putting It Together Teen Style” helped teens learn new skills, raise money for the less fortunate and fulfill their high school community service hours.  The students partnered with professional volunteer mentors who provided them with a hands-on opportunity to learn marketing, project management, publicity, administrative and fundraising skills.  The event included a raffle, dinner, live entertainment and a fashion show.  One of the raffle prizes included the CEO Apprentice where the winner spent five days with George Miller, CEO of PSMH.  This collaboration between Provena St. Mary's volunteer department, community leaders and teens working together raised over $5,000 for the less fortunate.

Community Outreach and/or Collaboration
Safe Harbor
Abington Memorial Hospital (AMH), Abington, Pa.

Abington Memorial Hospital’s Department of Home Care and Hospice staff witnessed a notable increase in the incidence of young hospice patients dying and leaving behind a spouse and family.  AMH also began receiving community requests for pediatric bereavement services for schools, funeral homes, pediatricians and parents.  In response to this community need, Safe Harbor was created in 2001.  With the help of trained bereavement facilitators and peers, participants explore the many facets of their grief through a variety of age-appropriate mechanisms including talking circles, special art, music, animal-assisted therapy activities and playtime.  Safe Harbor has enjoyed successful collaborations with various organizations, which include Project Linus Blankets, an organization that provides security through blankets to local children in need.  Through Their Own Eyes, another community partner, allows children to deal with the anguish of death by taking one picture each day, for 27 days, of something that is special to them, or gives them comfort.  Since its inception five years ago, 500 children from 300 families have participated in Safe Harbor.  Safe Harbor helps children understand that it’s natural to grieve after a loss and that people share a natural capacity to heal with support, caring and acceptance.

About the AHA

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 43,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA website at

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