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Volunteers Honored for Service & Dedication

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More than 300 adults and teens honored for aiding in patient care, hospital services

Greeting patients, providing pet therapy, offering spiritual care, staffing the gift shops, and assisting with administrative tasks are just of a few of the ways volunteers support Antelope Valley Medical Center (AVMC) every day. Hospital leaders celebrated the contributions of hundreds of volunteers during the annual volunteer appreciation banquet last night.

These volunteers have collectively contributed nearly 47,000 hours of service to the hospital in the past year alone, which equates to $1.26 million in donated time. Last year 18 chaplains donated more than 3,800 hours of volunteer pastoral care and 12 specially trained dogs provided 368 hours of pet therapy care at AVMC’s patients, visitors and staff.

“Volunteers are an integral part of our hospital family, whose efforts touch the lives of countless patients and staff,” said AVMC Chief Executive Officer Edward Mirzabegian. “We greatly appreciate their willingness to share their time and talent with our organization every day and were delighted to pay tribute to so many of them.”

The celebration included special recognition for Judy Ibbotson, who celebrated three decades of volunteer service, and Judy Hutton for 20 years of volunteerism. Four volunteers were honored for achieving a lifetime contribution of 12,000 hours or more, including: Shirley Beasley and Bobbie Patton with 16,000 hours, Judy Ibbotson with 14,000 hours, and Lou Arnold with 12,000 hours. Additionally, attendees paid tribute to five volunteers in their nineties and 17 others who are in their eighties.

“Volunteers share one of their most precious resources – their time – to make life better for others,” said Dennis Mortimer, the hospital’s supervisor of volunteer resources. “Our annual recognition dinner, which is always held in conjunction with National Volunteer Week, allows us to let our volunteers know how much they are appreciated, valued and cherished.”

Volunteer fundraising groups, the Alpha Charter Guild and 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, which is relocating from its Avenue I location to a shopping center on 10th Street West near Avenue J 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 125 teenage volunteers participating year-round. Designed for high school students, it helps young people acquire workplace experience and develop networking opportunities. These up-and-comers have the advantage of seeing firsthand how important quality healthcare is to the community and how they can help 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 the hospital’s volunteer program, call 661-949-5105 or visit the volunteer section of our website.

CEO, board chairman and volunteers

Antelope Valley Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Ed Mirzabegian (left) and Board Chairman Mateo Olivarez, RN (right) with volunteers Bobbie Patton and Shirley Beasley, who were recognized for each having donated more than 16,000 of their time over the past several decades. Patton has been a hospital volunteer for 30 years and Beasley has volunteered for 46 years.