The heart of a volunteer: NCH honors 750!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


Anatomically speaking, the heart of a volunteer probably looks just like the heart of anybody else. But that may be where the similarity ends. Their selfless energy and dedication certainly set them apart from many other people.

At Northwest Community Healthcare, we are grateful for our more than 750 volunteers, who in 2015, clocked a whopping 100,570 hours. From April 10-16, we will be celebrating Volunteer Recognition Week. In a single year, our volunteers, who work in 80 different departments, accomplished a lot.

  • Animal-assisted therapy teams visited 11,966 patients.
  • Care Cart drivers provided 20,550 rides.
  • The patient transport team assisted 38,662 patients.
  • And much more!

Learn more about becoming a volunteer at NCH

Six inspiring volunteers will be honored this year for more than 30 years of service.

Diane Bloem

Inverness, Oncology

“I’ve worked on the Oncology unit for more than 25 years. Treatments have changed and patients have much shorter stays, but the courage of the patients and families on [the oncology] floor is amazing. I’ve learned that just a smile as you walk the halls can mean a lot to someone who is sick.”

Dorothy Duffell

Arlington Heights, Gift Shop

“I always go home in a lighter frame of mind than when I arrived. The years that I volunteered on the hospital auxiliary fashion show committee were always fun. That was back in the day when fashion shows were in vogue!”

Nancy Franks

Inverness, Marketing and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

“I started volunteering here because this is my hospital. Volunteering broadens my world and makes me feel useful. Every Thursday for 21 years, I worked in the Snack Shop. We made milk shakes, sundaes, you name it. Everybody loved it!”

Editor's Note: Nancy truly is a RoboVolunteer. In addition to her work at NCH, she volunteers at St. Joseph’s Home, in Palatine, run by the Little Sisters of the Poor; and JourneyCare Hospice in Barrington. Previous volunteer gigs include the ICU at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, the Infant Welfare Society, PADS, delivering birthday cakes to the kids at Maryville, and more.

Arlene Padgitt

Northbrook, Buffalo Grove Immediate Care Center

“Years ago when I volunteered in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), I saw a patient looking at herself in the mirror and primping because she was being transferred to a regular room. I kept thinking how much better she felt that day than when she first got there. That moment has stuck with me all these years.”

Barbara Markgraf

Inverness, Day Surgery Center, hospital nursing units

“I started volunteering because I wanted to be useful. Volunteering adds so much joy to my life because I am able to help others. The campus has grown and changed so much, but what stays the same are the thoughtful people who work here.”

Mary Ann Palumbo

Huntley, Discharge Escort

“Volunteering gives you a wonderful sense of well-being. I love being able to take patients to their family’s cars, because it means they are well enough to go home.”


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