(Photo Credit: Enloe Medical Center, Chico, California)

Volunteers are part of the backbone of our hospitals. National Volunteer Week was established in 1974 to recognize and celebrate the efforts of volunteers across the country. The AHA’s Association for Healthcare Volunteer Resource Professionals recognizes this week by celebrating National Healthcare Volunteer Week, today through April 16. It’s a time to thank hospital volunteers for their service to patients and communities – service that helps improve care and promote collaboration among hospitals, health systems and community groups.

To that end, the AHA recently announced the winners of the Hospital Award for Volunteer Excellence (HAVE), which highlights the extraordinary efforts of volunteers and volunteer programs and the positive impact their contributions have on the patients, hospitals, health systems and communities they serve. Volunteers who serve in hospitals and health systems often exceed expectations as a result of innovation, creativity and leadership. The AHA is delighted to recognize these achievements and the exceptional examples of our volunteer’s dedication and ingenuity.

Thank you to all the volunteers and volunteer programs at hospitals and health systems across the country. Your commitment to patient care and selfless acts of kindness help us improve patient care every day. Please join us in thanking volunteers during the 2016 National Healthcare Volunteer Week and in celebrating and recognizing your volunteers' efforts to advance your organization. And share stories about your volunteers and auxiliaries with AHVRP

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