Celebrating Our Volunteers

April 16, 2015 | Mary Faith Bell

Volunteers are the heart and soul of an organization — people who give freely of their time working for the betterment of the community because they believe it is the right thing to do. Volunteers are very often the most cheerful people in our midst. They contribute not only time and talents, but also love and joy. They carry forth the Adventist Health mission and demonstrate Christ’s healing ministry.

Adventist Health celebrated National Volunteer Appreciation Week in April. The Adventist Health hospitals in the Northwest are blessed by volunteers and their generous hearts, giving spirits and myriad efforts to be of service. 

The spirit of volunteer service is alive and well at Walla Walla General Hospital (WWGH) in an extraordinary way. The hospital Auxiliary, with the help of two generous donors, recently purchased a grand piano for the lobby. The vision for the beautiful instrument is that visitors and employees alike will be blessed by the calming and healing sounds of music.

“Music has the ability to affect moods and impact stress levels,” says Karen Kellar, WWGH vice president of patient care. “Providing a calm environment has been shown to effect healing by decreasing stress. Several patients have already commented on the music and mentioned that the music makes them feel as though WWGH cares about them and their experience — and we do."

The piano was purchased and donated through the gifts and efforts of volunteers and continues to be utilized by volunteers who fill the lobby and halls of the hospital with healing music. The hospital is welcoming pianists to share music that creates an atmosphere of peace, hope and health. WWGH has also extended an invitation for evening recitals to provide an opportunity for the community to enjoy the gift of music.

Volunteer Highlight: Shaun Heublein

Walla Walla General Hospital has a new volunteer with his head in the clouds and his feet firmly on the ground. Shaun Heublein is a full-time airline pilot; he works for Ameriflight, a company that subcontracts for UPS. Heublein’s route brings him to Walla Walla about four days per week. “I arrive at about 9 a.m., and I don’t have anything to do until 4 p.m.” he explains. “Some of the other pilots who have flown this route have played golf and worked out at the gym all day, but that didn’t really appeal to me. I wanted to do something useful.”

Heublein applied to volunteer at WWGH, where he thought he could make a difference. He can be found several days per week escorting guests and patients to their destinations in the hospital. “It’s fun,” he says. “It makes the day go fast, and I meet lots of nice people. I really appreciate the flexibility the hospital offers me, and I love having something constructive to do with my time.”

Volunteers Make a Difference

  • Adventist Medical Center, Portland, Ore.: 276 volunteers, 54,044 hours
  • Tillamook Regional Medical Center, Tillamook, Ore.: 100 volunteers, 7,453 hours
  • Walla Walla General Hospital, Walla Walla, Wash.: 95 volunteers, 20,486 hours