BANGOR – In 2020, more than 200 volunteers gave nearly 17,000 hours of service to support patients at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center. These selfless community members donate their skills in clerical and administrative support; direct patient care and enrichment activities; and support tasks at the hospital on State Street; Northern Light Health Center, Union Street; and Lafayette Family Cancer Institute in Brewer.
Volunteers give their time and energy in more than 50 areas across the Medical Center, providing companionship and comfort through social activities for rehab patients, pet therapy visits, families waiting in surgical services, checking up on vulnerable individuals living alone, providing resources for cancer patients, and much more. They also support the Maine Café and the hospital gift shop.
“Our volunteers are incredibly compassionate and vibrant members of the community whose contributions not only help fulfill our mission and support our staff, but greatly enrich the experience of our patients as well,” explains Stacey Coventry, MSB, director, volunteer and community development services, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center.
In addition to the hundreds of volunteers helping in service roles across the Medical Center, individuals from area businesses, local high schools and colleges, and a variety of other community organizations have jumped off the sidelines of the pandemic to join the frontlines by helping at the community vaccination clinics in a variety of clinical and non-clinical roles, supporting healthcare workers, and making a difference in our community as we work together to stop the spread of COVID-19.
“In addition to the dozens of healthcare workers and leaders, each of our Bangor vaccination clinics has been supported by more than 100 volunteers per clinic day helping in a variety of roles. To date, 1,000 community members have donated nearly 15,000 hours of service to this amazing public health effort,” continues Coventry. “The ongoing success and sustainability of these clinics truly requires a village.”
She adds, “Our volunteers don’t serve for the recognition or to receive any kind of tangible reward. They are motivated by an intrinsic and altruistic desire to help make their community a better place. Every one of their contributions has an impact and is appreciated. We celebrate their commitment all year long, but this week reminds us to make a mindful effort to pause and show our gratitude to these unsung heroes. So, to all our volunteers: we offer a hearty thank you.”
Employees and community members who would like to share a note of appreciation for volunteers are invited to do so on a virtual Kudoboard or stop by Grant 2 of the Medical Center on State Street and post a note on the wall display celebrating their volunteers.