Stephanie Chan Vo, Director of Guest Services at Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH) has received the Illinois Secretary of State’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Volunteer Achievement Award. The award was presented last week at the Thompson Center by Secretary of State Jesse White at a reception that highlighted several community leaders who are making a difference.
"Nobody volunteers to get an award, but this was very much appreciated," Chan Vo said after receiving a letter, plaque and personalized license plate for display purposes. "It was a big surprise and an honor."
Among her many volunteer roles, Chan Vo serves on the Chicago Chinatown Special Events Committee which coordinates the annual Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade and Summer Festival. Some of the members of the committee nominated her for the award for her years of dedicated service.
Chan Vo started her career in 2008 at the Chinese American Service League (CASL), the largest and most comprehensive social service agency serving Chinese-Americans in the Midwest. Her volunteer efforts in Chinatown have included serving on the board of the Chinese American Civic Council, reinstating the Miss Chicago Chinatown pageant and serving as producer for several pageants including Miss Friendship Ambassador and Miss Chicago Chinatown, both of which offer young women an opportunity to get involved in the community and represent Chicago's Chinatown on a national and global level.
Chan Vo also raises funds for breast cancer through Susan G. Komen Chicago, and was the first volunteer manager. She later was named Director of Business Development and Events. Chan Vo's responsibilities at the hospital include managing the volunteer program, hospital guest services and the animal-assisted therapy program. She also instructs a volunteer management course at Triton College’s School of Continuing Education.
"It means a lot to me to give back to the community, and that's what makes me passionate about leading volunteers," says Chan Vo. "I know how important it is for them to have meaningful experiences."
NCH has nearly 800 volunteers, some who have been at NCH for more than three decades. Chan Vo is appreciative of the many ways they assist patients through the healing process.
"There are so many organizations that need help," she explains. "I think people should find something they're passionate about and give back."
NCH has numerous volunteer opportunities, including helping at the information desk and working on the nursing floors. Volunteers are matched based on their interests and abilities. For more information, call 847-618-4450.