Walking into a hospital can be nerve wracking, but at Clovis Community Medical Center there are dozens of volunteers who try to make the experience easier for patients and their families.
From helping patrons navigate their way through the campus to helping families choose a comfort item for a patient at the volunteer-run gift shop, volunteers have become “the face of CCMC.”
A total of 228 hospital volunteers invested 26,782 hours in 40 areas of the hospital in the past year, peaking in June with 2,521 in that month alone, said CCMC’s director of human resources, Lowell Hull.
“They’re virtually touching almost every area of the hospital,” Hull said at an annual volunteer luncheon held in the hospital’s H. Marcus Radin Conference Center on Wednesday. “That says a lot for the versatility and flexibility of the volunteers who come here every single day.”
It would take 13 full-time staff members to equal the amount of work volunteers put in — for free — annually, said Clovis Community CEO Craig Castro.
“You are significant contributors to our team,” he told the volunteers at the luncheon. “You are often the face of our team because you’re dealing with families and friends and are helping the experience here for our patients. You guys are responsible for a lot and we recognize that.”
Administrators also recognized a specific volunteer for her years of contributions.
Joyce Morrelli, who has volunteered at CCMC since 2003, was named Volunteer of the Year. She has served as president of Clovis Community Medical Guild since 2008.
Cathy Hendrickson, development coordinator for Community Medical Foundation, called Morrelli “the face of the Guild.”
“She just goes over and above. I know she does a lot of work at home,” Hendrickson said. “She’s (volunteering) in the hospital, but she does things behind the scenes. It seems like she’s always here.”
Morrelli has dedicated more than 6,000 documented hours to the hospital in the past 13 years, although officials said she had probably contributed many more.
Under Morrelli’s tenure, the Guild has donated $500,000 in gift shop proceeds. A $250,000 gift was used to build the hospital’s water fountain and another $250,000 was used to purchase and install security cameras in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), said Kathryn Weakland, development officer for Community Medical Foundation.
“She makes sure (the gift shop) is running smoothly, and that is such a great opportunity for our patients to get things from their loved ones,” Weakland said.
The NICU’s security cameras were a huge need, since they are required for the hospital’s accreditation, she added.
“That’s a huge relief and takes the scariness away for our patients, they know their babies are going to be safe in the neonatal intensive care unit,” Weakland said.
Also during Morrelli’s tenure, the Guild was inducted into the Clovis Community Hall of Fame and has been honored by the Community Medical Centers Foundation. The Guild was awarded the “Ultimate People 2013” award as well as being named Heroes in Healthcare 2013.
“Morrelli continues to give tirelessly to the Guild with true dedication and hard work,” Hull said.
Besides the time she has invested in CCMC, Morrelli has volunteered with the Clovis Chamber of Commerce and was a United Way chairperson, Hull said.
Morrelli just enjoys giving back to the people in the Clovis community, she said.
“I just love working with people that I feel like I can give them something good for their day when they’re in a bad situation — because I’ve been there,” she said. “The patient is getting help but the rest of the family also needs to be taken care of.”
Morrelli works in various areas of the hospital, but the thing she enjoys the most is walking around the hospital greeting people.
“When I see people who look like they’re lost I go in and have a cup of coffee with them or give them hot tea because that satisfies them for the day,” she said.