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June 22, 2023  |  News Category: Hospice News

hospice volunteer appreciation 2023


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LAURINBURG -  On Thursday afternoon, Scotland Regional Hospice held its annual volunteer appreciation luncheon in the fellowship hall at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Laurinburg.  Twenty of the organization’s patient care volunteer team gathered for food, fellowship and participated in some mandatory education.

“I’m excited to have us all here together,” said Bunny Hasty, Scotland Regional Hospice volunteer coordinator, to the group.  “We have some things to go over, but I really want you all to just take some time to enjoy yourself, enjoy the food and enjoy each other’s company.  You all deserve so much more, but we have a great meal and a small gift to thank you for all that you do.  Our hospice would not be here without you.

It is a Medicare requirement that at least 5% of all patient care provided by a hospice agency come from volunteers. Because of Medicare’s expectations and HIPAA’s regulations regarding patient privacy, there is a significant amount of training and continuing education required of patient care volunteers. Despite the rigorous paperwork involved, the volunteers work hard to remain compliant with the organization’s standards while exceeding all expectations when it comes to patient care.

Following her greeting, Hasty asked volunteer chaplain Dr. Thomas Marshall to bless the food and the volunteer team enjoyed a delicious meal catered by Rick’s catering.

Hasty then read a KevinMD article to the group that was written by psychotherapist Farid Alsabeh titled, “What being a hospice volunteer taught me about health care.”  In 2019, Alsabeh had just finished his bachelor’s degree in neuroscience and while taking some time off of school began looking for something that would grab the interest of those viewing his master’s program application.  A friend of his, who had been a hospice volunteer in the past, recommended contributing his time to caring for the terminally ill and at only 22 years old, Alsabeh began serving as a patient care companion.

The purpose of the article is to point out how personal aspects of healthcare become prioritized once curative care measures cease.  No message could have perfectly described the importance of hospice volunteers.

“We might say that the health care of the living has much to learn from the health care of the dying.  After providing volunteer services to hospice care patients, I have come to recognize this as true,” Hasty said to the group, reading from Alsebeh’s article.

She then went on to read about several specific encounters between Alsebeh and his patients pointing out that even though the care provided by the hospice volunteers is not clinical, the interpersonal characteristics of their role is perhaps even more integral when serving the terminally ill.

Hasty gifted each volunteer with a guardian angel figurine and those in attendance participated in a door prize drawing with the winners receiving a gifts donated by Hasty and hospice supporter Pattie Painter.

Scotland Regional Hospice boasts an exceptional patient care volunteer team that provides well above the 5% Medicare requirement.   A dedicated volunteer presence has been a staple of the organization since its inception in 1985 when it was founded and operated solely on the work of volunteers.

To read Farid Alsabeh's complete KevinMD article, click here.  For more information about volunteer services at Scotland Regional Hospice, please call Bunny Hasty at (910) 276-7176.