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 25th 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 award hail from Alabama, Alaska, Utah and Washington. Representatives from these winning programs received their awards at the HAVE Award Breakfast on Monday, April 7, 2008 during the AHA Annual Membership Meeting in Washington.
The 2008 HAVE winners are:
Community Service Programs
American Lake Veterans Golf Course
VA Puget Sound Health Care System in Tacoma, Wash.
The American Lakes Veterans Golf Course is solely operated by volunteers and is completely self-sustaining. In 1995, federal funding for the operation and maintenance of all VA golf courses was eliminated. Through their labor, fundraising efforts, and community connections, these dedicated volunteers transformed the VA golf course, originally designed in 1932, into a state-of-the-art venue. It provides a variety of therapeutic, adaptive golf programs for veterans and returning soldiers with physical disabilities. Through the efforts of these volunteers, they have also successfully generated media interest to further communicate the needs of America's wounded warriors and the therapeutic benefits associated with American Lakes Veterans Golf.
In-Service Hospital Volunteer Programs
Auxiliary Heritage Collection
Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage, Alaska
The Auxiliary Heritage Collection project created a unique tribal-based approach to volunteerism. For the past 32 years, Alaska Native Medical Center's Auxiliary has managed a Smithsonian-quality native arts and crafts collection. The collection is comprised of traditional works of art that represent all regions of the state and the various Alaska Native cultures. The beautiful collection is a source of pride to patients and their families and an inspiration to employees and visitors from around the world. Alaska Native Medical Center serves as a traditional gathering place for its patients and many patients recognize art provided by their own families in the Heritage Collection.
Mercy Medical in Daphne, Ala.
Since 2000, Mercy Magic, a dedicated workforce of volunteers for Mercy Medical, has been providing much-needed services for Mercy's pediatric home care patients and families. As one of their primary efforts, Mercy Magic set out to raise funds by selling pewter Christmas Angel ornaments. The volunteers approached local businesses to display the ornaments and business owners agreed to collect sales proceeds for Mercy Medical. Volunteers restocked the merchants' shelves and sometimes moved the ornaments from shop to shop to accommodate heavier sales in certain locations. Purchases increased each year and to date, ornament sales have generated close to $50,000 for Mercy's pediatric home care program.
Community Outreach and/or Collaboration
Intermountain Healthcare Volunteer Dental Project
Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City, Utah
In the fall of 2003, Intermountain Healthcare hospital volunteers organized a community outreach program in Utah aimed at Title I elementary schools, which are defined as those with 50 percent of its children at the poverty level or below. The program was in response to statistics released by the Utah Health Department Medical Director naming dental hygiene as the number one health problem for elementary aged children. Intermountain Healthcare volunteers responded to this need by coordinating and partnering with their county health departments, Migrant Community Health Centers of Utah, Community Health Connect, staff from Intermountain Community Health Partnerships and local colleges, universities and training centers to develop a program to combat dental issues in children. The program consists of a four-prong approach: education, tool for prevention, preventative fluoride varnish, and follow-up care for extreme cases. The program grew from 12 partner schools to 56 Title I elementary schools. The impact of this program was best described by the Oral Health Director of the State Health Department, who said he had never seen a program with so many partners put together so successfully.
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 www.aha.org.
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