UMHS Volunteer Services Honors Distinguished Volunteers

April 11, 2016  //  FOUND IN: News

UMHS Volunteer Services honors over 2,200 active volunteers on Monday, April 11, 2016 during National Volunteer Week.  This year’s event recognizes the volunteers who constitute “The Fabric of Our Care” at the health system.

David A. Spahlinger, M.D., President, UM Hospitals & Health Centers and UM Medical Group, and
Executive Vice Dean for Clinical Affairs, UMMS will present the keynote address.

Two illustrious volunteer representatives will address the group: Richard “Jebb” Kirkland, a community volunteer with a 5-year history in the Emergency Department, goes beyond volunteering by serving as a trainer and mentor to new volunteers.  Sana Isaac, a UM student volunteer, began volunteering at UMHS during high school, and has served in 8 different placements in the Health System. She is currently a Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) volunteer, providing special assistance and support to senior patients.

T. Anthony Denton J.D., M.H.A., Senior Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, UM Hospitals and Health Centers and UM Medical Group will present the Distinguished Service Awards to two extraordinary volunteers selected by committee from nominations submitted throughout the year:  Diane Davidson, community volunteer, has volunteered in the Brandon Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for almost 5 years, and additionally has volunteered in Spiritual Care for the past year.  Patrick Kiessling, student volunteer, has volunteered in Mott Children’s Hospital for 210 hours, and is currently a volunteer in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. 

In addition to honoring all the nominees for the Distinguished Service award, UMHS volunteers will be recognized for their years of service, starting at 24 months and continuing through 30 years.  Volunteers serving 24 months through 5 years receive a certificate, and those will 10 years and above receive a gold pin along with a certificate for their years of service.

Deacon Wayne Charlton, Chaplain, UMHS Spiritual Care, presents the In Memoriam section of the program to honor the volunteers we’ve lost in the past year, and whose memory will remain in the hearts and minds of the UMHS family.  This year a special memorial tribute commemorates Sue Fischer, who pioneered the pet therapy program at UMHS 28 years ago, and served as part of a Therapaws therapy dog team for 25 years.  We now we have nearly 30 Therapaws teams comprised of human and canine volunteers visiting our hospitals to relieve stress and bring joy not only to patients and families, but to other guests and staff as well.

The event is sponsored by Volunteer Services, Patient & Family Centered Care, Gifts of Art, FRIENDS Gift Shops, the Cancer Center, Women’s Health Program, Ann Arbor Meals on Wheels, Turner Senior Resource Center, and Therapaws of Michigan.