Volunteer Makes Difference at Share Medical Center
By Janet Valencia
Volunteer Coordinator, Share Medical Center
Lynn Heasley, retired business man from Alva, has been getting a lot of attention at Share Medical Center, mostly for his smile and cheerful demeanor.
“He is so friendly and easy going. He loves to talk to his friends and patients who come in the hospital. He makes them feel at ease by sitting and talking with them, and on top of that, he is willing to complete any task we ask of him. He is one of many ambassadors for our volunteer program,” said Janet Valencia, Volunteer Coordinator at Share Medical Center.
Heasley came to SMC in October of 2012 after reading in the Methodist bulletin about SMC needing volunteers. He had fully retired earlier that year after working at several businesses in Alva. Then, upon completion of his “honey-do” projects for his wife of 62 years, Nelda; he decided he wanted to do more. He called Valencia and as it turns out, he now works in several areas of the hospital and averages around 20 to 25 hours a week.
“Both Nelda and I, on several occasions over the years, have been in the hospital at Share,” said Heasley. “We noted on those occasions how nice the staff was and how well we were treated. I have always kept this in the back of my mind. Then one time, I was in St. Anthony’s hospital and I noticed all the volunteers that were at the patients and staff’s beckoning call. I, too, kept that in the back of my mind. So when I heard that SMC was looking for volunteers, I got up the nerve to call.”
“I didn’t want to work for someone; I wanted to work with someone. I want to keep busy and as long as SMC needs me, I will be here. I also really enjoy seeing people who come to the hospital that I haven’t seen in many years. I love being able to sit and chat with them, if only for a few minutes. I think they appreciate that I acknowledge them and say ‘hello’ and hopefully they feel at ease about being here for whatever reason.”
Being the dedicated volunteer he is, he arrives before 8:00 am and proceeds to make his rounds. He can be found in the registration area tidying up, sweeping, washing windows or making coffee, and then he makes his way to the basement where he shreds papers for one to two hours. Ultimately, he makes his way to Central Supply where he helps label supplies. The Central Supply staff calls him, “a life saver!”
“His willingness to help allows us to focus on other tasks, for example, inputting data into the MediTech system, or Electronic Health Records (EHR). This technology is new for us and we have a large learning curve. He allows us time to make sure we are doing it correctly and without working overtime to get the supplies labeled and put away,” said Anita Jacobson and Brenda Salinas.
It is not only these areas in which he has been noticed. Several of the staff have complimented his ability to do his work cheerfully and maintain his smile all the time.
“He is an inspiration to all. We appreciate his smile,” said Cheryl Ellis, Health Information Management Director.
“It is nice to see people in the community who care about the welfare of the hospital,” said Melanie Cunningham, HIM Clerk.
When asked what Heasley has learned while volunteering, he stated that the staff’s compassion for fellowship is noticeable. “Patients are very appreciative to have a hospital and staff who are very compassionate in this little town of Alva. It is interesting to see first-hand what healthcare is all about.”
He also stated that he was surprised at the physical size of the facility. “There is a lot to this facility that many don’t know about.”
Kandice Allen, CEO, stated that, “Lynn is such a great addition to our team. We really appreciate his time and effort as well as the example he is setting for others.”
Heasley is not alone in SMC’s volunteer program. SMC has 19 volunteers who range in age from high school to retired seniors. They work in many departments including the social services, hospice, physician’s clinic, pharmacy, registration and surgery. Many of the newer volunteers are college students looking to build their resume’s for medical school, but several of the long time volunteers just enjoy keeping busy. For 2012, volunteers donated over 816 hours of their time in support of SMC and the Alva community. SMC thanks all its volunteers for their dedication and service.
The SMC volunteer program continues to grow and more help is needed. Those interested in volunteering and being a part of Alva’s healthcare industry may contact Valencia at (580) 430-3360.