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Hospital Recognizes Volunteers for Their Service

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Antelope Valley Hospital (AVH) honored 300-plus volunteers who collectively contributed more than 58,000 hours of service to the hospital in 2017 during an appreciation banquet Thursday. The dollar value of their service is nearly $1.6 million.

"There are a lot of good things going on at the medical center because of the hospital family, which volunteers are a big part of," said AVH Chief Executive Officer Michael Wall. "I’m pleased that we’re able to recognize volunteers for their valuable contributions."

The hospital relies on the talents of volunteers to support staff by greeting, visiting with and escorting patients and their families; distributing comfort items; filing; organizing; managing the pet therapy program; and myriad other duties. Last year 17 chaplains provided 3,407 hours of volunteer pastoral care and 10 dogs provided 236 hours of pet therapy care at AVH.

The celebration included special recognition for two volunteers with more than three decades of service: Katie Christman, 35 years, and Lou Arnold, 30 years. Five volunteers were honored for achieving a lifetime contribution of more than 10,000 hours, including: Betty Morgan with 18,000 hours, Shirley Beasley with 16,000 hours, Bobbie Patton with 15,000 hours, Judy Ibbotson with 13,000 hours, and Lou Arnold with 12,000 hours. Additionally, attendees paid tribute to two volunteers in their nineties and seven others who are in their eighties.

"When you volunteer, you are making a commitment to share that most precious of resources – your time – to make life better for those who are in need. Your gift of time makes a tangible impact to the lives of those individuals who are touched by your generosity," said Mary Binkowski, the hospital’s director of volunteer resources.

"I want to thank you for your dedication, the sacrifice of time away from loved ones, your families and even your pets," said Board Chairwoman Kristina Hong. "Thank you for donating your time to care for the hospital and our patients."

Fundraising groups such as the Alpha Charter Guild and AVH Auxiliary have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the hospital since their founding. Volunteers staff the auxiliary gift shops located in the main hospital and the Women and Infants Pavilion as well as the "New to You" thrift store located at 329 West Ave. I in Lancaster. The Alpha Charter Guild’s primary fundraiser is the annual "Hourglass Debutante Presentation Ball," which it has been coordinating since the guild’s establishment in 1965.

The teen volunteer program, established in 1958, is one of the largest in Southern California, with more than 200 teenage volunteers participating year-round. Designed for high school students, it helps young people acquire workplace experience and develop networking opportunities. These up-and-comers have the advantage of seeing firsthand how important quality healthcare is to the community and how they can help meet the individual needs of patients and their families.

Every April during National Healthcare Volunteer Week, healthcare organizations all over the country take time to recognize the volunteers who give so much of their time and talents. For more information about the hospital’s volunteer program, call 661-949-5105 or visit the volunteer section of our website.

From left to right, Antelope Valley Hospital Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer Colette Menzel and Chief Executive Officer Michael Wall congratulate a volunteer during the annual volunteer recognition dinner Thursday evening.

Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer Colette Menzel and Chief Executive Officer Michael Wall congratulate a volunteer