CASPER, Wyo. (Sept. 26, 2022) – Volunteers at Banner Wyoming Medical Center were awarded the Wyoming Hospital Association’s Outstanding Volunteer Program of the Year at the association's annual meeting earlier this month.
The award is given out annually to volunteer programs at health facilities across the state. The volunteer program is one of 27 auxiliaries and numerous hospital volunteer organizations in the state of Wyoming.
“It is without a doubt that I say that we couldn’t do what we do without our volunteers,” said Lance Porter, Banner Wyoming Medical Center’s CEO. “It’s great to see the program recognized for the amazing work our volunteers do day in and day out.”
Banner Wyoming Medical Center’s volunteer program has a long history of serving the hospital, dating back to its establishment in May 1953. The initial purpose of the volunteer program was fundraising to benefit the hospital and expanding volunteer services such as the information desk.
Today, the volunteers perform many essential duties within the hospital, including manning information desks and providing certified therapy dog visits for patients, families and staff. They donate their time as well as proceeds from the volunteer-run gift shop and organize other fundraisers that benefit hospital staff and patients including an employee scholarship fund, the Caring Closet which provides new clothing to patients in need, and more.
Volunteers also escort patients, serve as chaplains, provide information, help families with a loved one in surgery, deliver flowers or books to patients, and assist in several other departments. The Mended Hearts Program volunteers help ease cardiac patients by answering questions and providing friendship while the Junior Volunteer Program inspires both volunteerism while exposing young people to possible future careers in the medical field.
“Over the years, the hospital’s volunteer program continued to keep pace with the expansion and growth of the hospital,” said Lisa Swartz, Banner Wyoming Medical Center’s volunteer supervisor since 2017. “Changes in technology and many renovations since the founding of our volunteer program haven’t changed the dedication our volunteers provide by helping others.”
In 2021, over 100 volunteers contributed more than 8,300 volunteer hours saving the hospital an estimated $239,000. They provided 4,282 patients and visitors with directions, delivered 840 items, assisted with 8,051 phone calls, and guided 18,006 patients and visitors through the hospital.
Banner Wyoming Medical Center also has 20 volunteers who have earned the prestigious President’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest award bestowed to volunteers nationwide including Jack Laird, age 92, who has faithfully volunteered weekly as a guide for more than 21 years and was the program’s 2022 Volunteer of the Year.
“It really is an honor to work with the dedicated volunteers who enrich our hospital and community,” said Swartz.
If you are interested in volunteer opportunities at Banner Wyoming Medical Center, call (307) 577-2794 or email [email protected].
About Banner Health
Banner Health is one of the largest, secular nonprofit health care systems in the country. In addition to 30 acute-care hospitals, Banner also has an academic division, Banner – University Medicine, and a partnership with one of the world’s leading cancer programs, Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center. Banner’s array of services includes a health-insurance division, employed physician groups, outpatient surgery centers, urgent care locations, home care and hospice services, retail pharmacies, stand-alone imaging centers, physical therapy and rehabilitation, behavioral health services, a research division and a nursing registry. To make health care easier, 100% of Banner-employed doctors are available for virtual visits, and Banner operates a free 24/7 nurse line for health questions or concerns. Patients may also reserve spots at Banner Urgent Care locations and can book appointments online with many Banner-employed doctors. Headquartered in Arizona, Banner Health also has locations in California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming. For more information, visit bannerhealth.com.
Lisa Swartz, Banner Wyoming Medical Center’s volunteer supervisor since 2017, received the Outstanding Volunteer Program of the Year award at the Wyoming Hospital Association annual meeting in September 2022.
Banner Wyoming Medical Center’s volunteers are more than 100 strong and serve in many capacities across the hospital. Many volunteers have served for 30 years or more.
Jack Laird, right, turned 92 years old this year and was named Banner Wyoming Medical Center’s Volunteer of the Year in April 2022. His wife Donna, also a long-time volunteer, received the Volunteer Service Award.
Banner Wyoming Medical Center volunteer Darlene primarily serves at the surgery waiting room desk and helps friends and family members with status updates during their loved one's surgeries.
The Caring Closet, a volunteer-run program, provides new clothing for patients in need.