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 26th 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 Florida, Michigan and Virginia.  Representatives from these winning programs received their awards at the HAVE Award Luncheon on Monday, April 27, 2009 during the AHA Annual Membership Meeting in Washington.

The 2009 HAVE winners are:

Community Service Programs
Mobile  Mammography Services
Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Fla.

The goal of Memorial's Mobile Mammography Services is to provide mammography services to the medically underserved and uninsured women.  Memorial's Mobile Mammography van provides comprehensive breast cancer outreach and screening in local communities.  The van travels to the heart of underserved communities providing culturally sensitive services through a highly skilled staff.  The new van is equipped with full field digital mammography. The highest quality of care is provided to all regardless of any socio-cultural barriers. 

With transportation as one of the three main barriers to accessing services, the van allows Memorial to travel to more than 120 sites, screen 2,000 women and raise breast cancer awareness by its presence.  Its effectiveness was demonstrated when 280 women were screened in one quarter and 71 were called back for additional views and ultra sounds.  Mobile Mammography Services is a great example of the power of volunteers and the difference they make in so many lives.

In-Service Hospital Volunteer Programs
Infant Massage Volunteer Group
Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, Mich.

The Infant Massage Volunteer Group was developed with community volunteers to provide relaxing massages on a daily basis to premature infants.   Research found that regular massages would increase appetite, weight gain and reduce stress for premature infants.  They found that the infant's health improves with consistent caring, touch.  It was also discovered that hospitals could reduce the length of stay for premature infants by about six days on average through a massage program.

Through a partnership with Creative Wellness, a local massage company.  The massage professionals offered training and education to community volunteers and the nursing staff.   The members of the Infant Massage volunteer group handle their own scheduling, volunteer leaders organize annual trainings, and the more experienced volunteers mentor newer members.  There is also close teamwork and excellent communication between the nursing staff and volunteers to ensure safe delivery of care for all patients.   The Infant Massage Volunteer Group is a unique program that impacts the most vulnerable - premature infants.
Fundraising Programs
Harley Davidson Motorcycle Raffle
St. Joseph Health System in Tawas City, Mich.

For ten years, the volunteers of St. Joseph Health System's Annual Raffle raffled a John Deer Lawn Tractor and generated about $5,000 that could help support their funding commitment for advanced health services/technology.  In 2006, the volunteers decided to purchase a $17,100 Harley Davidson motorcycle instead of the traditional $1,200 lawn tractor. The volunteers were encouraged to take the raffle out of the four walls of the hospital and participate in every available community activity, including five county fairs from March to September.  Taking the Harley Davidson Motorcycle Raffle into the small rural communities of northeast Michigan allowed volunteers to meet and speak personally with thousands of resident.

The raffle achieved an astounding net profit of $29,088.  In the past three years, the annual raffles achieved a net profit of $84,000 and from the overwhelming success of the Harley Davidson Motorcycle Raffle the volunteer family was inspired to complete a five-year, $180,000 pledge to St. Joseph's new Surgical and Cardiovascular Center.

Community Outreach and/or Collaboration
Auxiliary to Johnston Memorial Hospital
Johnston Memorial Hospital in Abingdon, Va.

The Auxiliary to Johnston Memorial Hospital (JMH) is committed to the hospital and the community it serves through the initiation and promotion of a variety of community outreach and collaboration programs. The programs include JMH's Scholarship Program/Education Materials where the Auxiliary's Education Committee awards scholarships to students pursuing a career in health care.  They have awarded over $12,600 in scholarships since 2004. 

In the past four years, the Auxiliary has provided $27,900 in funds to indigent patients to purchase prescription medications.  The goal is to prevent readmission due to inability to purchase needed medications. 

Other successful community outreach programs include the JMH Blood Mobile where the Auxiliary contributed $60,000 toward the cost of purchase of the mobile unit.  In addition, they worked with Cardiovascular Associates, P.C. to fund the purchase of five Automated External Defibrillators to kick off Abingdon's Heart Safe Community program.   The Auxiliary also purchased an infant security system; worked with the local recreation department to plan a wellness trail; and purchased several hundred copies of the Five Wishes Living Will booklets to give to the public free of charge. 

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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