04/07/11 — Wayne Memorial names top volunteers

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Wayne Memorial names top volunteers

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on April 7, 2011 1:46 PM

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Pam Lawhon, left, a hairdresser who has volunteered her talents at Wayne Memorial Hospital since May 2007, was named volunteer of the year on Wednesday, while Joseph Plummer, who assists in the admitting area and in transporting patients since 2005, received the customer service award.

Nearly four years ago, Pam Lawhon called the hospital to volunteer her time and talents.

"She said, 'Look, I'm a hairdresser and I have got some time -- I would love to come out to the hospital and make the patients feel better,'" said Donna Archer, director of volunteer services.

At the time, there was no specific opening for something like that, as most of the volunteers were assigned other tasks -- such as filing and delivering mail, or serving at the information desk, gift shop and in surgical waiting areas.

But Mrs. Archer worked it out with nursing staff and officials at the hospital to make way for the hairdresser to provide the service. And since May 2007, Ms. Lawhon faithfully shows up once a week to wash and style patients' hair.

It's been better than medication for some of them, Mrs. Archer said.

"Especially for women, if you have been laying in the bed for two days, three days -- every woman in this room can agree, if you don't look good, you don't feel good," she told the gathering Wednesday for the hospital's annual volunteer recognition luncheon.

Ironically, this year's theme was "Making a Beautiful Difference." And, Mrs. Archer said, Ms. Lawhon has done that.

"Our patients have really been given a wonderful opportunity with Pam coming in," she said. "I have seen firsthand the transforming ability -- it lifts the spirits of our patients."

Since she started volunteering, she has contributed approximately 437 hours, "doing hair" for an estimated 620 people, Mrs. Archer said. And on Wednesday, she was named the hospital's volunteer of the year, receiving a pin, an engraved clock and will have her name added to a plaque in the volunteer services office.

Also recognized at the luncheon was Joseph Plummer, who started volunteering in January 2005 and has logged 1,063 hours assisting in the admitting area and with patient transporting. He was presented with the customer service award.

"He always has a smile on his face and a willing attitude," Mrs. Archer said.

Seven other volunteers were also acknowledged for going above and beyond the call of duty, often pitching in where needed or supporting in other roles. These included Jean Bacon, Ruby Braswell, Vivian Dail, Barbara and Gene Fredericks, Flo Tanner and Lib Whiteside.