Iowa Hospitals’ Volunteer Programs Earn National Recognition

The American Hospital Association (AHA) has honored volunteer programs at Mercy Medical Center, Cedar Rapids and UnityPoint Health-Des Moines with its Hospital Awards for Volunteer Excellence (HAVE).

The Family Caregivers Center of Mercy was the award winner in the community service category. Open since 2015, the center offers free, comprehensive resources and support to family members caring for loved ones who are living with chronic conditions. Key to the center’s success are more than 110 volunteers. In addition to space for caregivers to meet with volunteers, the center has rooms for art and music therapy, a resource library, a multipurpose room for educational sessions and a massage therapy room.

UnityPoint Health – Des Moines was recognized as a finalist in the fundraising category for its Not New Shop, a thrift store that supports Iowa Lutheran Hospital. Bringing in a net sum of nearly $100,000 last year, the Not New Shop, located across the street from the hospital, generates community interest while raising money for special projects and programs at Iowa Lutheran. Volunteers help ring sales at the cash register, assist in maintaining the shop’s appearance and help sort and price donated merchandise.

The AHA HAVE Awards Program is in its 35th year and highlights the extraordinary efforts of hospital volunteers and volunteer programs as well as the value and positive influence their contributions have on hospital patients and staff and the communities they serve. Nominations for the 2019 HAVE Awards open in December.