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Volunteers spend decades serving the NCH community

July 18, 2022

More than 100 NCH volunteers gathered on Wednesday, July 13 to celebrate each other at a wonderful
outdoor party. In fact, in order to accommodate all guests, there were actually two parties back to back!

Aside from enjoying sizzling grilled food onsite from Weber Grill Restaurant, volunteers enjoyed the
festivities—and seeing each other in person after a long pandemic hiatus. CEO and President Steve
Scogna and other leaders shared heartfelt gratitude from the entire hospital community. Service hour
pins were presented to individuals reaching milestones in hours volunteered.

Special honorees Ronald Baker and Teresa Lamonaca received special awards for 27 and 30 years of
service.

Ron, of Arlington Heights, retired from United Airlines shortly after the September 11 attacks and
yearned to stay involved with something meaningful. His wife, Pat, suggested he look into the volunteer
options at NCH.

“When I first started I was in LIFELINE,” Ron said. “We installed alert systems in homes in case of
emergency so they could alert the ER and get help.”

While that function was eventually outsourced, Ron has served in numerous other ways, including now
as a greeter at the Busse Entrance. When asked what kept him coming back to NCH, he said, “The
wonderful people I have met over the years that are volunteers. I came in here not knowing a soul, but
that quickly changed. They are the best. I have met some great patients, too.”

When Teresa, of Mount Prospect, started volunteering she was helping nurses with feeding patients,
bringing them water or coffee and sometimes sitting with them to bring relief to those who were lonely.
Now, you will see Teresa every Tuesday delivering flowers and other treats to patients.

“I am so happy here. I can just be Teresa, not mother or grandmother or wife,” she said.
Teresa was especially proud to share her guest for the party—her 21-year-old granddaughter, a recent
college graduate. Perhaps she will be part of the next generation of volunteers!

To volunteer, you need to be 16 or older and able to commit to at least four hours per week for a
minimum of six months. Positions are available seven days a week with a variety of shifts. Evening and
weekend positions are in high demand and generally have less availability. Please visit
https://www.nch.org/volunteer/ to learn more and complete an application.

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