from Georgian Bay General Hospital
Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) is pleased to honour and celebrate its dedicated volunteers during National Volunteer Week April 18 to 24, 2021. This year’s theme for National Volunteer Week (Volunteer Canada) is “The Value of One, The Power of Many”.
“It takes just one volunteer to make a difference in an organization, but it is the power of many volunteers which has helped shaped GBGH and our community,” says Gail Hunt, president and CEO, GBGH. “The hospital’s 160 dedicated volunteers haven’t been with us inside the building much over the past year, which I think has demonstrated more than ever just how much we miss the invaluable support they provide our team and their kind, compassionate way with patients.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, GBGH – like hospitals across the province – had to suspend volunteer services for the safety of the volunteers. Although they haven’t been able to perform their regular duties in the hospital, they have still shown their support in many other ways.
“The entire GBGH team would like to extend our most sincere thank you for the efforts of GBGH’s volunteers throughout the past year,” says Karen Roberts, manager, Volunteer Services. “GBGH has simply not been the same – both due to the pandemic and the unfortunate consequence of not having our beloved volunteers here, helping us provide exceptional care. There are still many examples of how the volunteers have continued their service to GBGH and its patients over the past year.”
The GBGH’s volunteers planted and maintained the gardens in front of the hospital last summer. They also painted much of the hospital’s lower level to brighten the space last spring/summer. The volunteers also donated drinks and snacks in the cafeteria for staff and credentialed staff to enjoy a complimentary treat while on their breaks.
The volunteers have delivered community-donated means to GBGH’s Penetanguishene site and the Assessment Centre, helped with administrative work, and at Christmas, opened the Gift Shop to raise funds and made personalized cards for patients in hospital over the holidays.
Additionally, the volunteers have sustained the clothing drive which raises significant funds to donate to the hospital. The clothing drive donation bin remains just inside the hospital’s main entrance for donations of fabric items including clothing, shoes, luggage and house linens. Recently, 20 GBGH volunteers have been assisting at the local immunization clinics (Midland/Penetanguishene) where they help direct and transport people in need of assistance.
GBGH has other volunteers selflessly giving their time and knowledge to the hospital in both guidance and governance roles. The hospital’s Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) and the Board of Directors have continued to meet virtually throughout the pandemic to continue providing their unique perspectives and valuable insights.
Earlier in the pandemic, GBGH worked with Georgian College to develop a unique learning opportunity for students who would usually be in the hospital for their clinical placements. More than 20 volunteers participated in special clinical project designed for nursing students to provide education to and monitor seniors who are socially isolated due to the pandemic through virtual care (telehealth).
banner image: In 2020, volunteers beautified the GBGH grounds by re-planting the flower beds outside the Midland site and also offered to maintain them throughout the summer.