Honoring those who serve BIDMC
They were called "the warmth that is BIDMC," "kind and professional," "the ones who help stretch staff and resources" and "people who make patients feel at home."
These words of recognition were part of BIDMC's annual Volunteer Recognition Event. Several hundred volunteers of all ages, family members, staff and even a few dogs gathered to lunch in the Shapiro Atrium and celebrate the spirit of past, present and future volunteering at BIDMC.
The dogs - including a charming old pug named Joe - were specially trained therapy pets certified by the non-profit group Caring Canines Visiting Therapy Dogs Inc. They have been visiting patients and staff on inpatient units since 2007. The group received special recognition for the success of the program, which was coordinated by social work, nursing and volunteers services. Dogs sat at the luncheon politely with their handlers.
An additional special recognition was given to Virginia Oliver, a volunteer in pastoral care and education. In accepting her award, Oliver said it has been a privilege to work "from the seventh floor to obstetrics, I have witnessed both the beginning and the end of life here at BIDMC," she said.
Social work and patient information services volunteer Selma Gordon was honored for 20 years of service. Thankful for the good care her aging parents received at Beth Israel Hospital, volunteering there was a natural choice for Gordon when she retired in her mid-60s. She's been a fixture ever since, starting as a candy striper and moving through various departments until landing in social work where she's been for the past nine years.
Midweek Gordon takes a short story analysis class at Boston University and on Fridays she's back at the hospital spending her day assisting BIDMC's Service Ambassador team at the Feldberg Information Desk.
"Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a very special place," says Gordon. "In my experience, everyone's treated like an equal here whether you deliver the mail, you're the head of a department or the president. It's a privilege to volunteer here. I've gotten much more out this than the hospital has. I'm sure of that."