The following information is for hospital auxilians and volunteers. The Iowa Hospital Association appreciates everything auxilians and volunteers do to help Iowa hospitals. Contact Pam Gridley at 515-288-1955 or the Iowa Hospital Auxilians and Volunteers board of directors for help with auxilian and volunteer issues.
Iowa Hospital Auxilians and Volunteers board of directors
- President – Angela Berns, Program Manager, Volunteer Services, UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s Hospital, Cedar Rapids
- President-Elect – Connie Manny – Executive Assistant, Madison County Health Care System, Winterset
- Secretary – Kirsten Heerdt, Volunteer Services Coordinator, Henry County Health Center, Mount Pleasant
- Director – Stephanie Duckert, Volunteer Services Manager, MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center, Mason City
- Director –Brad Fuglsang, Volunteer Coordinator, UnityPoint Health-Iowa Lutheran Hospital, Des Moines
- Director – Thresa Fix, Executive Assistant and Auxiliary Liaison, UnityPoint Health-Trinity Muscatine
- Director – Lisa Gronstal, Volunteer Services Manager, CHI Health mercy Council Bluffs, Council Bluffs
- Director – Vickie Newell, Manager, Volunteer Services, Mary Greeley Medical Center, Ames
- Director- Brittany Janssen, Volunteer Services Manger, Orange City Area Health System, Orange City
- Staff Liaison- Pam Gridley, Vice President, Corporate Relations, IHA, Des Moines
How ‘wonderful’ it is to volunteer
Haub, Hood make a difference at UnityPoint
Hospitals aren’t always the easiest places to crack a smile. And sometimes it’s hard to navigate the hallways if you aren’t used to visiting. That’s why volunteers like Janet Haub and Bill Hood are so valuable at UnityPoint Health — Trinity Regional Medical Center, according to Kathy Moe, manager of volunteer services. The hospital paid tribute to its volunteers this past week during National Healthcare Volunteer Week.
“Our volunteers are vital,” Moe said. “They support our staff in ways that can be quantified and ways that can’t be.”
Haub began volunteering Jan. 28, 2019. She’s volunteered over 700 hours of her time. At one point, she developed a bond with a patient she helped.
“One man was just so kind,” she said. “He would always give you the biggest smile when he came in.” And in return, Haub let him borrow her reading glasses from time to time.
“He always borrowed my reading glasses,” she said. “We would joke about that a lot.”Haub said she hasn’t seen that particular patient since the pandemic. But that’s just one example of the difference volunteers make.
Haub, a retired teacher from Prairie Valley Community School District, helps visitors get where they need to go. She guides anywhere from 35 to 50 people a day during a four-hour shift.
Hood also helps people find their way. He’s been volunteering since Jan. 20, 2016. He’s logged 938 hours of volunteer time.“Bill was one of our staff people before he retired,” Moe said. “He loved us so much, he decided to come back.” And apparently the feeling is mutual since Hood has earned the nickname “Mr. Wonderful.”
“That’s his nickname and he kind of likes that,” Moe said.“And who am I to argue that?” Hood said. “My daughter (Angie Tracy) got me the license plates that say so. If she thinks I am, I’ll go with it.”
Hood said he tries to make people feel comfortable. “Nobody wants to be here, so we try our best to brighten their day,” he said. “Some small talk as we take them places. Most people are more than happy to have a conversation. Some are really sick and if they don’t answer, you just make sure they are taken care of.”
Prior to his retirement in 2012, Hood worked 43 years doing telephone construction work for Frontier. Retired life at home didn’t last long.
"I lasted about six weeks after retirement before my wife told me I needed something to do,” Hood said. Next, Hood worked as a valet at the hospital. “She applied for me,” Hood said. “So I thank her for that.” Later, he transitioned into a volunteer role.Volunteers typically help in the cancer center, critical care reception, gift shop, surgery and other areas. Hood said he really didn’t interact with many people during his years working for Frontier. Moe said it’s a shame he didn’t work more with people because visitors seem to enjoy having him around.
"It gives you satisfaction to help people out,” Hood said. “It’s been really rewarding for me.”
For a time during the pandemic, volunteers were limited. And the hospital staff noticed.
"Having our volunteers really helps our staff and the staff was having to leave their clinical duties to come and get patients when we had no volunteers and that really took away from patient care,” Moe said. “The staff is in their role that they were hired to do. We don’t want to take nurses away from their department.”
Hood said he missed everyone when he wasn’t allowed to volunteer.
“When this virus was going on we weren’t allowed to come and I just really, really missed it,” Hood said. “All the volunteers I work with, I just really missed everybody. So pleased to be back.”
Haub said sometimes people don’t come with anyone else to the hospital, so they appreciate some interaction.
“It’s just such a good feeling and it’s so nice to meet different people and help different people,” Haub said. “There are so many people that come alone and you just want to help them. It’s such a good feeling to help people and I hope people would help my parents if they were in that situation.”
Hood and Haub plan to keep volunteering for some time.
“I am going to keep doing it as long as I can,” Hood said.
Story and photos from The Messenger.
2022 Educational Opportunities and Recognition Dates
- March 9, 2022 – Iowa Hospital Auxilian and Volunteer (IHAV) Spring Conference – details to follow in January
- National Volunteer Week, April 17-23
- National Hospital Week, May 6-12
- October 4-6, 2022 – IHA Annual Meeting
- Volunteer Manager's Day, Nov. 5
2021 Educational Opportunities
Iowa Hospital Auxilians and Volunteers (IHAV) S.W.I.P.E. Series - Steal with Integrity and Pride from Everywhere.
Dec 2, 2021 IHAV S.W.I.P.E. Series – Recruitment Recording In meeting poll results, click here
2020 Educational Opportunities
- Risk Management and Returning Volunteers Webinar
- Iowa Hospital Auxilians and Volunteers business meeting recording, Wednesday Oct. 7, 2020
2019 Iowa Hospital Auxilians/Volunteers Annual Survey
The 2019 annual survey is combined with the American Hospital Association's annual survey. The auxiliary/volunteer portion include three questions:
- How many auxiliary members and volunteers (adults and teens) were there in 2019?
- How many hours of service did the auxilians and volunteers give to the hospital in 2019?
- What were the total funds contributed to the hospital by the auxiliary and volunteer department in 2019?
To make positive changes to health care policies in Iowa, IHA relies on the support of hospital advocates to be the voices of Iowa hospitals at the State Capitol. With the ever-evolving issues and challenges that hospitals face, communicating a shared vision of health care in Iowa is crucial. Together our voices can be heard.
Hospital Day on the Hill
The February 24, 2021 virtual ‘IHA Hospital Day on the Hill’ included messages from Governor Kim Reynolds, AHA Executive Vice President Tom Nickels, IHA President/CEO Kirk Norris and 2021 legislative session priorities from Legislators.