By Katie Demeria
FRONT ROYAL -- Joyce Broy, 72, of Reliance, and Peg Goodyear, 79, of Browntown, play a vital part in Warren Memorial Hospital's operations -- all on their own time.
Broy is president of the hospital's volunteer auxiliary, and Goodyear is the president elect, due to take over next year. Together they have provided Warren Memorial with almost 20 years of volunteer service.
The week of April 6-12 was National Volunteer Appreciation Week. Several Valley Health hospitals had luncheons and special events to celebrate their volunteers.
According to a news release, Valley Health has more than 1,100 volunteers working for them. More than 116,000 volunteer hours were recorded last year.
Through the hospital's gift shop and the annual Celebration of Lights event, along with other fundraising activities, the Warren Memorial auxiliary raises money to fund everything from scholarships for teen volunteers to new medical equipment.
The money raised last year went to the purchase of a new 3D ultrasound machine for the Women's Care Department, according to Director of Volunteer Services Melissa Boies.
"It gives much clearer images of the baby," Boies said.
The services Broy, Goodyear and the other 90 volunteers provide range from transporting patients between departments to delivering mail.
But, according to Goodyear, they are always working to make the patients more comfortable.
"We help comfort the patient," Goodyear said. "Especially if they're elderly and come by themselves, we can help them feel better. We're here to increase our patient satisfaction rates."
"It's what I would like if I were here," Broy added.
Broy said when visitors enter the hospital, volunteers will show them to their destination -- not just pointing them in the right direction, but walking there with them.
Volunteers are also vital to the hospital's staff on a daily basis, Boies said, because they do tasks that may be time consuming and prevent a nurse, for example, from spending more time with a patient.
"In general, we keep things moving," Goodyear said.
Warren Memorial, according to Goodyear, is the only area hospital with volunteers in the emergency room, which is where she works in 12-hour shifts.
"I tell people when they're in training, they need to be prepared," she said. "I say you're going to see things that you may not want to see. It's best to learn upfront."
Though all volunteers go through orientation and on-site training, Goodyear said those within the emergency room require an extra two weeks of training.
"It can be intense," Goodyear said.
Though the auxiliary seems to always have someone lined up to do a job, Broy said, they are almost always in need.
"We always have somebody, she said, but it's not near enough," she said.
Both Broy and Goodyear are retired from their previous professions. Broy worked with honeybees then took care of her mother before she started volunteering. Goodyear was a nuclear medicine administrator in Washington, D.C.
"It's a great enjoyment for me," Broy said. "It gives me purpose. I do love volunteering."
"It keeps us out of trouble," Goodyear added.
Contact staff writer Katie Demeria at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or firstname.lastname@example.org