Press Release

AHA Honors 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 24th 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 South Dakota, Mississippi, Texas and New York.  Representatives from these winning programs received their awards at the HAVE Award Breakfast on Sunday, May 6, 2007 during the AHA Annual Membership Meeting in Washington.

The 2007 HAVE winners are:

Community Service Programs
Avera McKennan Health Care Clinic
Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center, Sioux Falls, S.D.

The Avera McKennan Health Care Clinic provides health care service to individuals without medical insurance and provides patients with primary medical care without charge.  Constructed with the volunteer assistance of community draftsmen, contractors, and decorators, the clinic opened in 1992.  Volunteer nurses and physicians assist staff to provide preventative care and health information, diagnosis and treatment of illnesses and injuries, assistance in obtaining specialist care for patients with complex cases and programs promoting wellness promotion.  The clinic also serves to train physicians, nurses, and other health care students.

In-Service Hospital Volunteer Programs
Hurricane Relief Program
Memorial Hospital at Gulfport, Gulfport, Miss.
The Memorial Hospital volunteers provided two new needed services due to the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina.  First, the special needs survivors who had no place to go were given physical and emotional support by volunteers who distributed meals and listened to their survival stories.  Second, volunteers organized a distribution system for all the donated goods that were received from around the country.  These goods were given to employees who had lost all their possessions in the immediate aftermath of the storm. 

Fundraising Programs
Providence Volunteer Services' Champagne Luncheon & Style Show
Providence Healthcare Network, Waco, Texas

The Providence Volunteer Services' Champagne Luncheon and Style Show featured local personalities and members of the local business population as models and celebrity waiters.  The celebrity waiters collected $4,000 in tips from the sold out crowd.  It became a community wide sensation and community supported event.  The Providence Volunteers turned around what had been a sluggish annual event and made it a widely successful community supported event.  Profits were increased by 303% over the previous two events.  Once sponsorships were sold out, the volunteers began selling for next year's event. The Champagne Luncheon and Style Show enhanced the role of Providence Healthcare Network and engendered priceless goodwill in the Waco community. 

Community Outreach and/or Collaboration
South Nassau Hospital, Oceanside, N.Y. 

SIBSPlace is a free support program and unique community resource for the well siblings of children ages four to 17 with cancer or other life threatening illnesses.  The well sibling may experience fear, sadness about the possibility of losing a sibling, guilt, jealousy, and loss of power and control.  Volunteers provide one-on-one assistance with homework and serve dinner and snacks to the children, whose parents may be struggling with the many challenges of caring for a child with a life-threatening illness.  They help facilitate drama workshops, talent shows, music and animal assisted activities.  Additionally, they support professional staff in programming that focuses on encouraging resiliency, sharing feelings and developing coping skills.  Each summer, volunteers assist with Camp SIBS, which includes field trips to museums, parks and a horse farm.  SIBSPlace provides a supportive safe and nurturing environment for the child who is struggling through a family crisis.

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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