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Antelope Valley Medical Center Says “Thank You” to Volunteers

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At a special volunteer appreciation banquet Thursday, Antelope Valley Medical Center (AVMC) recognized its 500 volunteers who collectively contributed nearly 60,000 hours of service to the hospital in 2015.

“We are fortunate to have a wonderful team of volunteers who give so much of their time to care for our patients,” said John Rossfeld, chief executive officer at AVMC. “Not only do they donate their time, but volunteers also run programs that raise thousands of dollars every year and have directly contributed to many improvements and enhancements throughout the hospital. The entire community benefits from their generosity.”

The celebration, held at Hellenic Center in Lancaster, included special recognition for milestone years of volunteer service, including: Jacquelyn Gunsten, 35 years; Maggie Sullivan, 30 years; Dan Beasley, Janet Fischer, Judy Ibbotson and Marsha Pedersen, 25 years; and Joseph Leath, 20 years. Recognition was also given to the volunteers who have contributed the most hours during their tenure. Those with the highest number of hours include: Judy Ibbotson and Bobbie Patton with 13,000 hours, and Lou Arnold with 12,000 hours.

“Volunteers are very much a part of the AVMC family,” says Mary Binkowski, director of volunteer resources at AVMC. “They make a difference every day in the lives of our patients, their families and the entire community.”

The hospital relies on the talents of volunteers to support staff by greeting, visiting with and escorting patients and their families, distributing comfort items, filing, organizing, managing the pet therapy program, and myriad other duties. More than 30 chaplains regularly donate their time to provide pastoral care at AVMC.

Fundraising groups such as the Alpha Charter Guild and the AVMC Auxiliary have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the hospital since their founding. Volunteers staff the Auxiliary Gift Shops located in the main hospital and the Women and Infants Pavilion, as well as the “New to You” thrift store located at 329 West Avenue I in Lancaster. The Alpha Charter Guild’s primary fundraiser is the annual “Hourglass Debutante Presentation Ball,” which it has been coordinating since the Guild’s establishment in 1965.

The Teen Volunteer Program, established in 1958, is one of the largest in Southern California, with more than 200 teen volunteers participating year-round. Designed for high school students, it can help young people acquire workplace experience and develop networking opportunities. These young people have the advantage of seeing, firsthand, how important quality healthcare is to the community and how their participation helps meet the individual needs of patients and their families.

Every April, during National Healthcare Volunteer Week, healthcare organizations all over the country take time to recognize the volunteers who give so much of their time and talents. For more information about Antelope Valley Medical Center’s volunteer program call 661-949-5105 or visit the volunteer section of our website.

About Antelope Valley Medical Center

Antelope Valley Medical Center, a 420-bed district hospital located in the city of Lancaster in northern Los Angeles County, has been serving the community for more than 60 years. The area’s only full-service hospital, AVMC provides a full array of medical/surgical services, pediatric treatment, NICU, mental health, cancer care and more. It is a Level II trauma center, Accredited Chest Pain Center, Advanced Primary Stroke Center and a Certified Community Cancer Center. More information is available at or by calling 661-949-5000. Follow us on Facebook at