Last month, more than seventy volunteers joined together at the Danbury Hospital Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon to be honored for their volunteer service. John M. Murphy, President and CEO, Western Connecticut Health Network (WCHN), greeted the volunteers and thanked them for their service.
Volunteers were awarded for years of service as well as hours performed. Camille Acquanita and Jean Stankiewicz were awarded a 40-year pin. Josephine Luicci, a volunteer for 37 years, was recognized for her 10,200 hours of service. Sally Mohl, 32 years of service, Lorraine Blansfield, 30 years of service, John Luicci, 28 years of service, Maureen Van Hise, 26 years of service, Bernadette Kallas, 25 years of service, and Paul DeMarco 25 years of service, were also recognized at the luncheon.
New Fairfield resident, Lorenzo Piscitelli, a WWII veteran who fought under General Patton, won the Unsung Hero Award for 19 years of dedicated service with the Pharmacy Department.
“I’m so surprised and humbled by this award,” said Mr. Piscitelli, who will now serve as a volunteer emeritus with Danbury Hospital. He has been a constant presence at Danbury Hospital. His enthusiasm and quiet willingness to help has made a world of difference to the staff and all who meet him.
Julie Parker and Kay Reed received The Kool and the Gang award for going above and beyond in their volunteer service. They assisted with the inaugural Mission Health Day in October 2017, a special event designed to connect community members in need with essential health screenings and services. They also participate in WCHN volunteer open houses, and they travel to different WCHN locations to assist when needed.
Two canines were also honored at the luncheon. Ari, a Boston Terrier French Bulldog mix, and handler Lisa Demetrius-Koukos took home the Golden Paw Award for Excellence in Pet Therapy.
“Ari and I are happy to be able to support patients when they visit Danbury Hospital,” said Ms. Demetrius-Koukos, who has been volunteering with Ari for the past year.
Ben, a Golden Retriever, and handler Dorie Kelly were honored for their years of service too.
“I feel so blessed to work with such wonderful volunteers at WCHN. Our volunteers are incredibly caring and exhibit the purest form of compassion,” said Amy Lionheart, Manager of Volunteer Services, Danbury Hospital and New Milford Hospital.
“Our volunteers strategically help our organization to achieve its goals while giving back to the community they love,” said Mrs. Lionheart.
Independent Sector places a value on volunteer service annually. This year, Connecticut came in third across the country with a value of $30.24 per hour. The economic value of volunteers is insurmountable. Volunteers across WCHN have contributed almost $3 million in volunteer time in 2017.
Feeling inspired and want to get involved?
If you are interested in volunteering at Danbury Hospital or New Milford Hospital, please call Kathy Hearty, Volunteer Coordinator, at 203-739-7384.
They are currently seeking clerical assistance, Emergency Department ambassadors, bedside buddies, gift boutique volunteers, and multilingual volunteers to assist at special events.
Norwalk Hospital is also part of WCHN. Visit their website to learn about volunteer opportunities at Norwalk Hospital too: Norwalk Hospital Volunteer Services.
This post was brought to you by the Western Connecticut Health Network.