SOMC Hospice Volunteers Reach 25-Year Milestone

SOMC Hospice Volunteers Doug Besco, Dottie Glover, and Iona Martin (shown l to r) recently received special acknowledgment during the annual Hospice Volunteer Recognition Dinner for achieving the program’s first 25-year milestones.

Southern Ohio Medical Center recently celebrated the individuals who give their time, kindness, and exceptional dedication to assisting the patients and families of SOMC Hospice during the annual Hospice Volunteer Recognition Dinner, held Oct. 6 at the Friends Community Center.

“Every year we set aside an evening to bring all of our volunteers together and honor them for the hours, patience, and love they continually show to our Hospice families,” Beverly Stringer, volunteer coordinator of Hospice Services, said. “Our program would be nothing without their support and this event is just a small way to show them how big a difference they make in the lives of others.”

More than 80 participants make up the Hospice volunteer program, ranging in age from 15 to 94. Many of the volunteers have been a part of the organization for countless years, though local residents Doug Besco, Dottie Glover, and Iona Martin received special acknowledgment the night of the banquet for achieving the program’s first 25-year milestones.

“It’s unbelievable that we’ve already been with this program for 25 years when I can clearly remember the day we each received our first five-year award,” Martin said. “Time has flown by since then, but every second I’ve volunteered has been worthwhile. I rely on this program and the program relies on me. It’s a great relationship.”

Glover explained that each volunteer can assist the Hospice program through a variety of opportunities including clerical assistance, annual fundraising events, providing relief to caregivers during in-home visits, or even sitting with a patient at the end of their life as part of the 11th Hour team.

“No matter what option you choose, you always become very close to these people and they grow into an extension of your own family,” she said. “Each opportunity is a blessing, and though it can be heartbreaking at times, it’s really a rewarding experience.”

Besco added that though the aspect of helping others is what initially drew him to the program, the act of volunteering has provided him with so much more, including a newfound support group among his fellow co-workers.

“Though it’s our job to provide support to the patients, our team is also here for one another,” he said. “It doesn’t matter the situation—you just know that someone will lend a hand or offer encouragement. It’s nice to have so many wonderful, caring people to count on and I’m honored to be a part of this group.”

“I’m very lucky to do what I do and I work with some of the most special employees,” Stringer said. “They teach me something new every day—not only about myself, but about the ways that generosity and compassion can change a patient’s life. Our volunteers make the SOMC Hospice program what it is and we thank them from the bottom of our hearts.”

To learn more about the volunteer opportunities available through SOMC Hospice, please call Beverly Stringer at 356-2653.