North Hawaii Community Hospital Celebrates Its Greatest Natural Resource

North Hawaii Community Hospital recognized nearly 60 volunteers on Wednesday, April 18th, during an annual appreciation luncheon to honor and celebrate their volunteers during National Volunteer Week.

“This year our Volunteer Appreciation Week theme is ‘Volunteers: Our Greatest Natural Resource’, says Arielle Faith Michael, Director of Holistic Healing Services and Volunteers Program at NHCH. “Volunteers are indeed our greatest natural resource. They help to lighten the load in so many areas of the hospital by assisting with filing, photo copying, answering phones, delivering items, helping visitors and patients, and even tending to the hospital’s healing gardens,” says Michael. During Wednesday’s appreciation luncheon, volunteers were honored for their service and dedication by CEO, Ken Wood, who shared, “Each volunteer plays an integral part of our healing environment, and your contributions are appreciated every day.”

The hospital is grateful to the nearly 60 volunteers who donate 15,000 hours annually. Many of them started volunteering shortly after the hospital opened nearly 16 years ago, including Julie, who has volunteered for 15 years in NHCH’s Rehabilitation Services Department. “I retired and moved to Kohala in 1994 and was delighted to see that a hospital was under construction. After shoulder surgery in 1996, I received physical therapy from NHCH’s Rehab Department and have been in the department longer than anyone who works here,” says Julie. NHCH also has several new volunteers, including Kathy, who started volunteering at NHCH 5 months ago after retiring from the airlines. “I thought it would be a fun way to support the hospital and our community,” says Kathy, who volunteers in Kohala Home Health Care and Same Day Surgery departments. “When I have the opportunity to wheel patients out to the front entrance of the hospital after their surgery, I am always amazed at their strength and resilience. They impact me so much more than I impact them, I’m sure,” says Kathy.

“Our volunteers compliment our healing environment with their personalities, talents, time and especially their love for the hospital. As members of our ‘ohana, they do their part without compensation to help NHCH achieve its mission and vision of becoming the most healing hospital in the world,” stated Michael. “This week we officially say Mahalo to our volunteers, but every day we appreciate the role each of them plays as part of our hospital’s healing legacy,” says Michael.

Anyone 18 years and older and willing to give a minimum of four hours per week is invited to apply for volunteering positions. Please contact Arielle Faith Michael, NHCH’s Director of Holistic Care Services and Volunteer Program at 808-881-4416 or via email at Arielle.Michael@nhch.com.

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