Auxilians and Volunteers

Iowa Hospital Auxilians and Volunteers

There is no charge to join the Iowa Hospital Auxilians and Volunteers personal membership group. Click here to join.

The Iowa Hospital Association appreciates everything auxilians and volunteers do to help Iowa hospitals. Contact Pam Gridley, 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 – Kirsten Heerdt, Volunteer Services Coordinator, Henry County Health Center, Mt. Pleasant
  • President Elect – Lisa Gronstal, Volunteer Services Manager, CHI Health Mercy Council Bluffs, Council Bluffs
  • Secretary - Bailey Clubb, Manager of Volunteer Services and Committees, Clarinda Regional Health Center, Clarinda
  • Past President – Angela Berns, Program Manager, Volunteer Services, UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s Hospital, Cedar Rapids
  • Director - Lisa Alesch, Volunteer Coordinator, Buena Vista Regional Medical Center, Storm Lake
  • Director - Vickey Newell, Manager, Volunteer Services, Marey Greeley Medical Center, Ames
  • Director - Melinda Pitt, Volunteer Services Manager, Waverly Health Center, Waverly
  • Staff liaison – Pam Gridley, Vice President, Corporate Relations, Iowa Hospital Association, Des Moines

Hospital Highlight

“Volunteer Patient Safety Program”

Patient safety is a top priority for all hospitals.  12 years ago, Volunteer Services at Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames, Iowa set out on a journey to make a positive impact on this very important initiative.  After attending a national conference and listening to a presentation on new and innovative volunteer programs, we felt the volunteer Patient Safety Program was just what we were looking for.

So why did we feel this was the right volunteer program for us?  Because it met key criteria we were looking for in a program:

  • Help maintain progress already made with fall reduction.
  • Engage our volunteers in patient safety and provide meaningful and gratifying volunteer work.

We started by getting buy-in from nursing leaders.  This was easy to do because they could see the impact the program could make.  We collaborated with a clinical resource nurse, educated staff about the program, recruited and trained volunteers, and then piloted the program on our surgical unit.

Volunteers visit patients identified as being at an increased risk for fall.  They have set criteria they are looking for when they enter a room, and if any criteria are not in compliance, volunteers are trained on how to correct it.  Criteria includes:

  • Is the fall risk signage outside of room correct?
  • For appropriate patients, is bed/chair alarm on and activated?
  • Is patient wearing a yellow risk band, which indicates they are at an increased risk for fall.
  • Is the call light within reach?
  • Are personal items within reach?
  • Is the bed in the low position?
  • Are side rails up x2?
  • Is the patient wearing non-slip footwear?
  • Are the patient and family members educated on fall risk prevention?
  • Are the 3 bed power cords plugged in?
  • Is the bed power indicator light on?
  • Is the bed brake turned on?
  • Is the recliner locked?

Today, volunteers visit four units – This program has been a win for:

  • volunteers – they feel like they are doing meaningful work and they enjoy interacting with patients.
  • patients – they comment frequently on how they appreciate the volunteers checking on them and they enjoy the social interaction.
  • nurses – they appreciate the extra set of eyes on their patients and that they help keep safety protocols in place.

This program is 12 years old and to date volunteers have done nearly 48,000 patient safety rounds.  Although it’s hard to show the number of falls prevented because of these rounds, I am sure this program has contributed to the decrease we have seen over the years in patient falls and patient falls with injury.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Vickie Newell, Manager, Volunteer and Older Adult Services, Mary Greeley Medical Center, Ames, Iowa

Dates to Remember

  • National Volunteer Week – April 21-27, 2024
  • National Hospital Week – May 12-18, 2024
  • IHA Annual Meeting, Oct. 8-9, 2024 - Des Moines
  • Volunteer Manager's Day, Nov. 5


2024 and Previous Year Educational Opportunities



Power of Connection " Volunteer Concierge Admissions Program" webinar - Sept. 12, 2023

Power of Connection, Leadership webinar – Feb. 2, 2023

Power of Connection - "Rethinking Volunteer Recruitment" Webinar - Aug. 17, 2022

Volunteer Application to Assignment Placement and Everything in Between! webinar - July 26, 2022

Power of Connection Fundraising Recording – Feb. 15, 2022


To make positive changes to health care policies in Iowa, the Iowa Hospital Association relies on the support of hospital advocates to be the voices of Iowa hospitals at the Statehouse. 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.

Advocates can be the voice of Iowa hospitals at the Statehouse during Hospital Day on the Hill. Typically occurring in February, Hospital Day on the Hill has a significant impact on Iowa hospitals and the communities and patients they serve.

Auxilian/Volunteer Manual

The auxilian/volunteer manual provides tools to enhance hospital auxiliary and volunteer programs.

Auxilian/Volunteer Leadership Manual

2021 Educational Opportunities

2020 Educational Opportunities

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?

View the 2019 annual survey results.

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