Letters to the Editor

Volunteers provide key services

It is my privilege to once again thank all volunteers in our area for their unselfish dedication in assisting others. April 18-24 is National Volunteer Appreciation Week, and it is especially fitting that I recognize volunteers in the Grand Strand Regional Medical Center Auxiliary Inc. Not only is the Grand Strand Auxiliary one of the oldest and largest service organizations along the Grand Strand, but it boasts one of the largest volunteer staffs - currently more than 190 ladies and gentlemen.

Grand Strand Regional Medical Center is very proud and appreciative of the volunteer team. They assist staff, patients, and family members, and also serve the community at our annual Health Fair, prostate screening clinics, and with flu shot registration. Volunteers do not take the place of paid employees but perform some of the tasks that allow trained medical staff to attend to patients.

Last year our volunteers donated almost 38,000 hours of service to Grand Strand Regional Medical Center and our community. They assisted with admitting and discharging patients; delivered mail to patients; provided clerical assistance in many departments; provided comfort and assistance in ICU waiting rooms and the Emergency Department; gave out information to visitors; and greeted staff, patients and visitors in the gift shop. Volunteers are usually the first people to come into contact with a patient or visitor entering our hospital, and most likely will be the last person they see as a volunteer transports them to their car for the ride home.

The Grand Strand Auxiliary is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charity organization, whose main focus is sponsoring a scholarship program for students in medically related fields. Twenty-six students are receiving financial assistance, and all efforts of the auxiliary are dedicated to the continuation of this educational endeavor.

Please take time during this special week of recognition and thank all volunteers for their unselfish efforts to help others. Congratulations to the volunteer staff at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center, and to all volunteers in various agencies throughout our community. Volunteers truly help Build a Better World - which is the theme for 2010. I am very proud and honored to work with you.

The writer is director of Volunteer Services at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center.