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Reception honors Washington County Hospital Auxiliary

April 19, 2007|by MARIE GILBERT

HAGERSTOWN - Linda Hovis knows a thing or two about patient care.

She's not a doctor or nurse or hospital administrator.

But for 30 years she has helped make Washington County Hospital a little nicer for countless patients.

Hovis is a volunteer with the Washington County Hospital Auxiliary.

She was among the more than 300 members of the organization who were honored Monday afternoon for their work during a volunteer appreciation reception at Robinwood Medical Center.

The event was part of National Volunteer Week.

Hovis, who serves as auxiliary president, said she became a volunteer by accident.

"When my daughter was a teenager, she wanted to become a volunteer at the hospital," Hovis said. "She was excited about it until her friends talked her out of it. So I made a deal with her. If she joined, I would join, too. All these years later, I'm still there."

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Hovis said the hospital has become a second home, and her fellow auxiliary members are like a second family.

"I've developed a lot of friendships with the people I've worked with over the years," she said. "We're a very close organization."

According to Hovis, auxiliary members serve at both Washington County Hospital and Robinwood Medical Center.

Volunteers range in age from adolescents who participate in the Volunteen program to senior citizens.

Hovis said volunteers provide a variety of services to both patients and visitors, including assisting at the information desk, transporting patients, delivering mail and flowers, working in the gift, thrift and coffee shops, and helping out in various hospital departments.

The auxiliary also sponsors a number of fundraisers during the year to benefit the hospital and community, including book fairs, uniform sales and the Tree of Lights campaign. Hovis said the auxiliary recently made a $1 million commitment toward a new hospital.

Dr. Robert Brooks, vice president of medical affairs at Washington County Hospital and an honorary associate member of the auxiliary, spoke during the reception.

"Every volunteer gives so unfailingly to our patients," he said. "That's something that can't go unrecognized."

Guest speaker for the event was Dr. Michael Shea, administrative director of behavioral services at Washington County Hospital.

"All of you are making a difference in our community and you're doing it as a volunteer," he said.

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