Last night was the medical center volunteer dinner. As I was not able to go last year, this was my first experience with the event. It was wonderful.
As I checked in, this girl said to me - Oh! You are the one with the dog! I loved the picture you sent in. She loved it so much we made the slide show that played during the meeting!
One of the things that was really neat was to see all the stories of the volunteers. There are so many volunteers throughout the entire medical center - The James, OSU East, Ross Heart Hospital, University Hospital (Rhodes/Doan). We were at a table with 2 James volunteers that had given over 1000 hrs of service for the year - now granted, these ladies were retired, but 1000 hrs is still a lot. The volunteer management group is constantly looking for new programs for volunteers to participate in and are focused on improving patient care and experience while in the medical center. It was also really neat to hear why all the volunteers volunteer - many of the James volunteers were cancer survivors themselves. Being as you can't have a live plant in the James, we will never volunteer there.
I was also amazed at the positive reception I received for our work as Pet Pals. I took one of Chelsie's leashes so she was there in spirit, and wrote on my name tag that I was a pet pal and drew a paw print. There is talk that maybe the pets in the pal teams might get to come next year! The Volunteer of the Year at OSU East was actually a pet pal team, Noel the Boxer and her handler. Best laugh of the night? A University Hosp team whose dog is named Joe Boxer. And he was adorable.
Overall, it was a very positive experience and I am proud to be part of the volunteer team at OSU Medical center!