TRMC volunteers are told: You are the point

Whether receiving directions to a patient’s room or making a purchase in the gift shop, almost anyone who has ever passed through the doors of Trinity Regional Medical Center has been assisted by one of TRMC’s many volunteers.

A total of 250,222 hours of volunteerism among the facility’s 135 volunteers were recognized Thursday evening during a banquet held in the volunteers’ honor at First Presbyterian Church.

Hours were accumulated between June 1, 2012, and May 31, 2013.

“Tonight we have 250,222 reasons to celebrate,” said Kathy Moe, director of volunteer services at TRMC. “More important than the hours are each of you in this room tonight. We want you all to know how sincerely happy we are to have you as our volunteers.”

The evening’s theme focused on the new motto of Unity Point Health, “The Point of Unity is You,” and how volunteers are an important part of the health care system.

“You are all a part of a special health care team,” Moe said. “You help ease apprehensions, you are the legs and arms, you transport and discharge patients who couldn’t do it themselves. You provide comfort and support in critical care, cardiac, surgery and our cancer center.”

Sue Thompson, TRMC chief executive officer, said the volunteer banquet is one event she always looks forward to attending.

“This is one of my favorite nights of the year to be able to acknowledge what you all do to serve our patients, visitors, physicians and staff.”

During the program,volunteers were recognized for their hours of service in 100-hour increments through 900 hours, and by 500-hour increments when they had served more than 1,000 hours. Volunteers who attained a new level of service hours were presented with a pin and certificate from Thompson and Troy Martens, TRMC chief operating officer. Hours are accrued and added to each volunteer’s total on a yearly basis.

Among those recognized for attaining a new level of service hours was Arlys Barkmeier, of Fort Dodge, who received a standing ovation for his 36,286 total hours of volunteer service. When compared to a full-time job, that is equivalent to more than 17 years or more than 30 years of part-time work. Barkmeier usually volunteers five mornings a week.

“Every one of you is uniting around those we serve in a very humble and compassionate way,” Moe said. “As volunteers you truly are influencing the planet and we appreciate you every day.”