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July 23, 2014

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Blowing Rock Hospital volunteers and staff gather for a luncheon at Bistro Roca on Monday in honor of National Volunteer Week. From left, back row, are Maxine Sparks, Gloria Wise, Jane Meyers, Ann Holshouser, Tommy Shouse, Norma Hash, Aubrey Spurlock, Amy Townsend, Ellouise Bryan and Connor Chocca; and, front row, Lorene Eidson, Betty Pitts, Liz Hayes and Marie Tsourakis. JEFF EASON PHOTO

Originally published: 2013-04-25 08:35:40
Last modified: 2013-04-25 08:35:40

‘Angels’ provide 6,435 hours of service

Everyone realizes that volunteers help ease the load at hospitals and nursing homes.

Blowing Rock Hospital goes one step further by quantifying what volunteers do to help the staff and patients there.

“During 2012, the volunteer program at Blowing Rock Hospital logged in 6,435 hours by 35 different volunteers,” said Marie Tsourakis, volunteer coordinator at the hospital. “We estimate this to be the equivalent of 2,080 hours by a full-time employee. These hours represent the equivalent of 3.10 FTEs and this has a monetary value of $101,000.”

Tsourakis was speaking at the annual luncheon at Bistro Roca honoring those who volunteer at Blowing Rock Hospital’s Davant Extended Care Facility, regular rooms and the Budget Box, the thrift store near the hospital that raises money for the facility.

The annual luncheon took place during National Volunteer Week.
“Volunteers are the heartbeat of our system,” said Sallie Woodring, system director of Volunteer Services and Career Pathways for Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, including Blowing Rock Hospital, Cannon Memorial Hospital and Watauga Medical Center.

“Volunteers freely give of themselves, their time and their talents. We really appreciate your efforts.”
According to Woodring, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System and its affiliates utilize more than 200 volunteers in more than 40 ARHS departments.
According to the Blowing Rock Hospital Volunteer Program’s 2012 year-end activity report, proceeds from the Budget Box amounted to $12,673.

Proceeds included $2,740 for televisions for patient rooms, $595 for ceramic supplies for the hospital’s resident activity department, $160 for Halloween T-shirts for residents and $243 for walkers for residents.

“The Budget Box also provided the funding for three expensive electric wheelchairs,” Tsourakis said.
Volunteers at Blowing Rock Hospital assisted with patient activities, such as a music therapy program, ceramics program, tutoring, community outings, in-room activities, performing artists program, running the Budget Box, pet therapy visits and more.

During Monday’s luncheon, volunteers were given pins that said “Volunteers Are Angels” and other gifts.

For more information and stories, see The Blowing Rocket.

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