Are your hospital’s volunteers teaming up with others in your community to help the people you serve become healthier? Are they working to enhance the public’s trust and confidence in your hospital? Are they taking on a major health problem and helping those who suffer regain their normal lives? Are they involved in getting primary or preventative care to people who would otherwise be left behind?

If your answer to any of these questions is yes or if your volunteers have something similar up and running, we’re looking for you.

The search is on for nominees for our 34th annual Hospital Awards for Volunteer Excellence (HAVE). The awards honor exceptional volunteer efforts that provide distinguished service to hospitals, patients and communities. The awards will be presented at the 2017 AHA Annual Membership Meeting next May in Washington.

This year’s winners included health care coaches who provide nonmedical support, resources and education for people managing chronic illnesses such as diabetes or mental health issues; and doulas who calmly coach moms – and their friends and family members – through child birth.

The winners share a key criteria: volunteer programs that, as a result of creativity, innovation and leadership, help improve people’s quality of life and bolster the hospital’s standing in the community. Each year, we select HAVE award winners in four categories: community service programs, in-service hospital volunteer programs, fund raising programs and community outreach/collaboration. The awards are our way of saying thanks to the people who give these initiatives their heart and strength.   

The AHA seeks nominations through Sept. 23 for the awards. Hospital CEOs and directors of volunteer services are encouraged to nominate outstanding volunteer programs. The HAVE awards have created a fund of ideas that hospitals across America can draw on. Many of these volunteer efforts have been spotlighted and many more have served as role models for successful volunteer programs elsewhere.

Express your appreciation for the men and women who freely give their time to help others. By nominating your volunteers for a HAVE award, you are recognizing the enormous value they bring to your hospital and community, and the pride you have in their efforts.         

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