St. Francis Recognizes Volunteers at Annual Luncheon
April 20, 2018
CHI Health St. Francis hosted its annual appreciation luncheon to honor its volunteers on Thursday, April 19, at Grand Island Riverside Golf Club.
With April 15-21 being National Volunteer Week, Anita Lewandowski Brown, St. Francis Volunteer Services/Gift Shop supervisor, said it was a great opportunity to say thanks to everyone who gives of their time and talents to volunteer at St. Francis.
"This year’s theme was, ‘Volunteers are Love in Motion,’ and volunteers throughout St. Francis certainly exemplify this year’s theme by kind words, a gentle touch or a listening ear," Lewandowski Brown said. "These things can mean so much to someone who is sick, in pain or lonely. Our volunteers generously give their gift of time to make contact, provide support and encouragement and perhaps even provide humor to make someone’s day a bit more bearable. Volunteers are truly an extension of the St. Francis family, serving and providing care for patients and guests, making a significant impact."
In 2017, a total of 379 volunteers donated 20,635 hours of time to St. Francis. Volunteers, the Auxiliary board, Foundation board and the trustees were all recognized on Thursday.
Carol Killham was named as the 2017 Volunteer of the Year. This volunteer of more than 23 years serves in the Oncology area and Gift Shop and has made a terrific impact in the hospital with nearly 3,000 lifetime hours.
Killham was nominated by several staff members in Oncology for making a difference with her positive attitude and treating everyone she meets with the utmost respect and kindness. Chris Kurz, Volunteer supervisor in Oncology, said, "Carol is passionate about providing care to our patients and their family members. She also trains new volunteers because she does such a great job!"
In all, 34 nominations were received for the Volunteer of the Year award. Those nominated include Brian Andersen, Chris Bauer, Leah Clark, Kathy Douglass, Gerri Fairchild, David Jewett, Tami Manhart, Cathy Osborn, Mary Phelan, Susie Powell, Cecilia Royle, Lola Ruzicka, Pat Swanson, Gerri Williams and Andy Zavala.
Special recognition was given to newer volunteers for exceptional contributions. Andersen is a greeter at St. Francis Medical Plaza and a tower escort at St. Francis. In less than two years, he has volunteered 464 hours and was nominated by nine different employees for “his dedication and resilient spirit,” a nomination read.
Jewett is an aide the Short Stay Surgery area, who was recognized for "his contagious smile and willingness to do whatever is needed to help staff," according to a nomination letter. Jewett has volunteered 713 hours in less than three years.
Williams is a Tower escort who has "a smile for everyone and a heart to serve," according to a letter a nomination. She has been a volunteer for less than two years and has volunteered 986 hours.
Auxiliary scholarship winners announced
Sheree Giesenhagen of the St. Francis Auxiliary also announced the organization’s annual scholarship winners during its volunteer recognition banquet.
Scholarship winners included Tommy McFarland and Brynn Sealock from Grand Island Central Catholic High School, Bethany Collins from Grand Island High School and Gabrielle Luehr from Wood River High School.
The $1,000 scholarship is open to applicants who reside in Hall County who are pursuing a career in the healthcare field. Scholarship requirements for traditional student applicants:
- Must be a graduating senior with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
- Must agree to attend college in Nebraska as a full-time student during the 2014-15 academic year.
- Must have received a minimum score of 20 on the ACT or 1000 on the SAT examination.