It’s National Volunteer Week!

April 18, 2023  //  FOUND IN: News,

Approximately a 2-minute read

Key takeaways:

  • National Volunteer Week was established in 1974 to highlight individuals who improve the community.
  • Volunteers began helping at Michigan Medicine in 1941 with just under 200 individuals.
  • Since then, more than 2,000 volunteers have enhanced the work of faculty and staff.

Happy National Volunteer Week! This weeklong celebration was first established in 1974 and is designed to spotlight the individuals who better the community through volunteering.

Whether it’s delivering meals for Ann Arbor Meals on Wheels, working as a cashier at FRIENDS Gift Shops or creating Gifts of Art for patients; the organization’s volunteers contribute in ways that are vital to the operations at Michigan Medicine and help the community thrive.

Thank you, volunteers, for your time and all of the unique talents you bring to the table!

A long-time tradition

Volunteerism has been a tradition at Michigan Medicine since 1941, when then-hospital director Harley Haynes sought to build a program to supplement staff resources depleted by World War II.

Beginning with just under 200 individuals at the “Old Main” hospital, the volunteer program at Michigan Medicine grew over the next 80 years to more than 2,000 volunteers who augment the work of faculty and staff across the entire organization.

From the main hospital campus to clinics and health centers around the region, Michigan Medicine volunteers provide direct support for patients, families and care providers. They also support research labs, assist with clerical tasks and help in the delivery of community outreach programs such as Ann Arbor Meals on Wheels, the Turner Senior Resource Center and FRIENDS Gift Shops.

Volunteers lend their voices and share their experiences as patient advisors, peer mentors and advisory councils for the Office of Patient Experience and the FRIENDS Advisory Board. And they provide support for non-clinical therapies including Gifts of Art and Healing Butterfly Garden.

“I wish all of you a happy National Volunteer Week and thank you for all that you do to support our patients, families, and workforce teams across Michigan Medicine,” said Tony Denton, senior vice president and chief environmental, social and governance officer. “Simply put, we could not accomplish all that we do without you. You have our deepest team gratitude for your gift of time, commitment and compassion for those whom we serve on a daily basis.” 

Recently, Headlines sat down with a few of the organization’s volunteers to find out why they volunteer their time and what they find most gratifying about their time at Michigan Medicine. Click here to see what they had to say!