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Aurora Health Care Honors Volunteers from Throughout Eastern Wisconsin

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 General News J E 4
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WEST ALLIS, Wis., April 29 Aurora Health Care held acelebration Monday to honor and thank the thousands of volunteers whocontribute enormously to the high quality of care and service Aurora patientsreceive. The event helped kick off National Volunteer Week (April 27 - May 3).

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080429/AQTU558)

More than 1,600 people from throughout eastern Wisconsin attended theevent at State Fair Park in West Allis. The celebration coincided with thebeginning of National Volunteer Week, which recognizes people who freely giveof their time.

"Our volunteers help to provide those important touches that make a worldof difference in the experiences of our patients and their families," saidNick Turkal, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Aurora HealthCare. "We are fortunate to have so many wonderful, talented people supportingthe work we do in our communities, and we wanted to take time to say thankyou."

More than 3,200 volunteers share their time and talents at 23 Auroralocations. Last year they contributed a total of 300,000 hours of volunteertime.

Among those attending Monday's event was Blanche Barta, 95, of Delavan,who has contributed a staggering 40,000 hours during her career as avolunteer. Barta volunteers at Aurora Lakeland Medical Center in Elkhorn.

Other volunteers highlighted during the event included Kay Biebl, whovolunteers at Vince Lombardi Cancer Center in Oshkosh; Don Leaman, 89, adischarge escort at West Allis Memorial Hospital; Bob and Pat Borucki, escortsat Aurora BayCare Medical Center; and Aurora Sheboygan Memorial Medical Centergreeters Dick Lubinski and Eric Wagner.

The work of Aurora's volunteers is as varied as the people who are givingof their time. Volunteer activities include:

Those who attended Monday's events were welcomed by Dr. Turkal, West AllisMayor Dan Devine, State Sen. Jim Sullivan and State Rep. Tony Staskunas. Theyalso heard videotaped messages from Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton, U.S. Sen. HerbKohl, U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan and U.S. Rep. GwendolynneMoore.

According to research by the Corporation for National & Community Service,Aurora volunteers are part of a proud heritage throughout Wisconsin.Statistics show:

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit Wisconsin health care provider anda national leader in efforts to improve the quality of health care. Auroraoffers care at sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin.-- Ambassadors who welcome and escort patients and families through Aurora's hospitals. -- Bakers who make treats in patient care and waiting areas and help create a home-like, comforting environment. -- Pet therapy handlers who share their animals with patients in order to brighten their day. -- A scrapbooking volunteer who offers free workshops every week with all ages of patients at Aurora Psychiatric Hospital. -- Floor PALS who assist patients in any way possible, whether it is getting a drink of water, a warm blanket or just making a visit. -- Musicians who play piano in lobbies or the harp in patient care areas. -- Patient advocates who meet with all newly admitted patients to ensure their hospital stay is comfortable. -- Hospice volunteers who are specially trained to provide loving care to patients at the end of life. -- Knitters who create baby hats and booties, lap blankets, afghans, prayer shawls and baby blankets. -- Neonatal intensive care unit volunteers who hold our tiniest patients, providing comfort and the all-important human touch. -- Activity-cart staff who walk through hospitals and clinics offering books, magazines and games.

SOURCE Aurora Health Care
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