“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.” — Elizabeth Andrew
This year, National Volunteer Week falls during the week of April 24-30. This year’s theme: ‘Volunteering is Empathy in Action,’ highlights how this profoundly human connection is at the heart of healthier individuals and stronger communities.
Recognizing this special week provides Prairie Mountain Health (PMH) with another opportunity to celebrate and thank all of our volunteers, we sincerely acknowledge and appreciate the contributions that volunteers and volunteer organizations make within the health region year-round.
Prairie Mountain Health is graced with an enrollment of about 1100 volunteers supporting long-term care, acute care and community programs across the region. These numbers do not include volunteers participating on Boards, Foundations, Auxiliaries, and Meals on Wheels programs, all of who work effortlessly to further support and assist health services region-wide. In the past, these volunteers have contributed well over 40,000 hours annually to support health care.
The last two years have been tremendously difficult for everyone. The challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic have been numerous, and the impacts severe. Many provincial public health restrictions directly impacted in-person/volunteer support. However, when needed most, our residents, community groups and organizations stepped up to do what they could out of the kindness and compassion of their collective hearts.
Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, volunteers continued initiatives like Meals on Wheels deliveries and the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP). CVITP assists low-income individuals with simple tax situations to complete and file their income tax which maximizes benefits. In Brandon and other rural areas, 25 volunteers helped clients with their returns last year.
Palliative care volunteers provided telephone or mail support to clients and families or assisted by connecting them to virtual supports.
There were volunteers collecting cards, notes and posters to send to our hospitals and personal care homes for patients and staff. Volunteer groups planned “thank you” parades for our staff and at the same time ‘miss you’ parades for our care home residents.
All the while, our Health Care Auxiliaries, Foundations, Community Foundations and Service Clubs/Organizations do what they always do, by contributing towards capital equipment, furnishings, and large and small projects within hospitals, personal care homes, and community health offices. We are indeed fortunate and blessed to have such dedicated support.
Volunteers continue to make a difference in the health and well-being of our residents and the patients/clients we serve. On behalf of our Board, Staff and Physicians, we sincerely thank you for all you do from the bottom of our hearts!
Chief Executive Officer, PMH
Check out some of the volunteers from around our region who have been recognized by PMH Staff!