Aspen Valley Hospital honors its volunteers |

Aspen Valley Hospital honors its volunteers

Erica Robbie
The Aspen Times
Aspen Valley Hospital volunteer Joyce Harris and Community Relations Director Ginny Dyche at the hospital's awards luncheon on Thursday afternoon. Harris was acknowledged for her 25 years of service to the hospital.
Erica Robbie/The Aspen Times |

Aspen Valley Hospital honored 31 of its volunteers for their service and commitment to the organization in an awards luncheon at Aspen Meadows Resort on Thursday.

The hospital’s volunteer program was started in 1960 by five women who simply wanted to help. The program has served the community for more than 55 years since, said Aspen Valley Hospital Community Relations Director Ginny Dyche.

Dyche said the hospital has honored its volunteers in its awards luncheon for as long as she has worked at the hospital, which is more than 30 years.

Twenty-one of the volunteers — from one year to 30 years of service to the hospital — were awarded with a hospital pin and bouquet of flowers at the luncheon.

Volunteers Pat Newkam, Christian Devers, Sue Craver, Linda Christina, Gail Caruso, Dallas Gillespie, Tripp Devers and JoAnna Calgelia were recognized for their year of service to the hospital; Krista Yardas, Kim Bracher, Chris Hartman and Kathy Collins for five years; Jill Sheeley and Suzann Resnick for 10 years; and Nancy Walll, Jill Scheinbaum and Rita Cohen for 15 years.

Also acknowledged at the luncheon was volunteer Martha Madsen for her two decades of service to the hospital, Joyce Harris and Karla Bacsanyi for their quarter-century-long commitment and Donna Rowlands for her 30 years to the organization.

Aspen Valley Hospital also recognized the seven members of its leadership team, who were awarded with gift bags.

“These are the ladies that keep us on track,” Dyche said before the crowd at Aspen Meadows. “We simply wouldn’t be the organization we are without them.”

The seven leaders honored at Thursday’s luncheon were Deborah Konig and Dawn Waalkes from the gift shop, Linda Waag in the emergency room, Donna Rowlands in the same-day surgery department, Joyce Harris in the patient-care unit, Rita Cohen in pet therapy, and Nancy Wall, who volunteers in the hospital’s communications department.

Three volunteers with exceptionally long tenures also were honored Thursday: Marian Melville, who started volunteering at the hospital in September 1979; Carolyn Scheer, who began in November 1979; and Mary Kay Nielsen, who started her volunteer career at the hospital in August 1984.

All told, the honored volunteers combined for 550 years of work at the facility.

Dyche delivered a heartfelt thank-you to everyone involved in the hospital’s volunteer organization.

“Working with volunteers is one of my favorite parts of the job,” Dyche said. “You all enrich my lives.”

The hospital has 82 total volunteers and seven different departments in which members of the community may volunteer their time — at the emergency room, patient-care unit, same-day surgery, pet enrichment therapy, hospitality, communications and the gift shop.

Volunteers’ responsibilities include greeting visitors and answering questions, transporting and escorting patients throughout the hospital, cleaning patients’ rooms, sorting mail, distributing newspapers and flowers to patients, helping with meal selections, restocking supplies and buying, selling and stocking the gift shop, among other work.

On average, hospital volunteers work one four-hour shift each week, though Dyche said this varies both with season and department.