Source: The News-Enterprise
Hardin Memorial Health’s Auxiliary won a statewide award for its efforts to supplement health care with community support services last week.
HMH won the Helping Accomplish Noteworthy Duties Successfully award at the 88th annual Kentucky Hospital Association Convention on Thursday in Lexington.
The association presents HANDS awards to hospital volunteer and auxiliary groups that conduct outstanding projects and services to further support their health care systems and patients. This year, Hardin Memorial Health was one of only four hospitals to be recognized with the award, and one of only two in the over 100 beds category.
“I am so proud to be a part of this incredible volunteer team who give so much of themselves to our rapidly growing regional health care system,” HMH Auxiliary President Hans Marsen said in a news release.
At the convention, the association recognized the auxiliary for two projects from the past year: a volunteer-taught harmonica class and a concerted effort to promote volunteerism.
HMH Director of Volunteer Services Kevin Hilton said he was pleased the auxiliary was recognized for two projects.
“It is very unusual, if not completely unprecedented, for a hospital to win an award for two projects in one year,” he said in the news release. “Hans and the volunteer leadership set ambitious 2016 goals and worked with our 140 Auxiliary members to accomplish them. Our volunteers are passionate about improving care for HMH patients.”
HMH Auxiliary Volunteer Dave Vandermolen teaches a harmonica class for HMH cardiopulmonary rehab patients. In the class, patients learn proper diaphragm breathing methods by practicing breathing in and out of a harmonica. Playing harmonicas help strengthen a patient’s abdominal muscles to assist in coughing, exercises the muscles that bring air in and out of the lungs and helps gain control over their breathing. More than 60 patients have participated in Vandermolen’s class since it began in 2014.
Because Vandermolen volunteers his time, the only cost of the class is the harmonicas, which the auxiliary purchases with money it raises.
The other award-winning project was an ongoing effort to promote volunteerism around the hospital and in the community. To raise volunteer awareness, the auxiliary members increased the amount of news shared with local media and created a volunteer website and regularly recognized the good work of volunteers on social media. They also held ceremonies to honor volunteer donations and developed a Volunteer of the Month award.
They also reached out to schools to encourage teens to volunteer and created bookmarks with volunteering data and contact information for prospective volunteers.
Because of the efforts, HMH Auxiliary gained 10 new volunteers in the first three months of 2017.