04/19/09 — Hospital volunteers honored

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Hospital volunteers honored

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on April 19, 2009 2:00 AM

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Volunteers at Wayne Memorial Hospital were honored at a luncheon on Friday. From left, Gene and Barbara Fredericks, Special Recognition; Alice Farmer, Volunteer of the Year; and Myde Howell, recipient of the Rosa Christian Koch Award. Absent was Gwyn Wilson, also a recipient of the Rosa Christian Koch Award.

Donna Archer, director of volunteer services at Wayne Memorial Hospital, remembers the first time she saw Alice Farmer, a volunteer in the admitting department.

While in a waiting room with a family member, Mrs. Archer witnessed a small child "screaming bloody murder," she said. The child's grandmother stood nearby, but seemingly had "absolutely no control" over the situation.

"Next thing I knew, Miss Alice comes out from behind the counter, plopped Indian style in front of that child .... I remember at that moment wanting to say, 'I work at Wayne Memorial Hospital.' I was just very proud that moment," she said.

"That's from being a kindergarten teacher," Ms. Farmer said.

"She knew exactly how to handle that situation and appease that child," she told an audience of Ms. Farmer's peers on Friday during the hospital's annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon.

Ms. Farmer was named Volunteer of the Year.

She started as a volunteer in September 1995, initially in the intensive care unit, then the admitting department.

"Almost any day, several days a week, when you round that corner you can see Ms. Farmer's face," Mrs. Archer said. "She's a great ambassador for the hospital."

In addition to an engraved clock, she was presented with a pin and will have her name engraved on a plaque on display at the hospital.

Three other awards were handed out at the gathering, based upon nominations made by staff and volunteers.

Special recognition was given to a husband and wife who have been volunteering since 2007, Gene and Barbara Fredericks.

Mrs. Fredericks started in late 2007, first in the emergency department and then the gift shop, logging 266 hours. Her husband has volunteered 211 hours, driving the courtesy cart.

The Rosa Christian Koch Award, for volunteers who exemplify support of good will and courtesy, went to two recipients, both serving on the WATCH mobile medical van. Since 2004, Myde Howell has worked more than 1,160 hours on the van, while Gwyn Wilson has contributed 523 hours in three years.

This year's theme, Volunteers Nourish the Soul, was appropriate, Mrs. Archer said.

"We have been amazed year after year how healthy the volunteers are," she said, telling those in the audience, "You know that you nourish the souls of other people in the hospital."