By CHRISTIN COYNE
Weatherford Regional Medical Center’s volunteers, including one woman who has volunteered at the hospital for 30 years, were recognized Wednesday at a luncheon honoring their thousands of hours of service.
Deb Williford, WRMC Director of Volunteers, said the group of 73 adult volunteers, as well as junior volunteers ages 14 to 17 years, donated more than 20,000 hours in 2013, equivalent to three employees.
Volunteers may escort patients around the hospital, assist patients in the ER or perform short-term clerical responsibilities as part of their duties, according to Williford, who said the volunteers don’t provide any hands-on patient care, but if patients need a pillow or water, they can provide that.
“I love them all,” Williford said of her volunteers. “They are awesome people. We couldn’t make it without them.”
WRMC CEO David Orcutt recognized the role the the group of volunteers plays at the hospital, as well.
“I appreciate all the work you do,” Orcutt told the group gathered at First United Methodist Church on South Main Street. “You make a huge difference at the hospital.”
Orcutt also presented volunteer Wanda Brian with a plaque recognizing her 30 years of dedicated service.
Williford said Brian is currently her longest serving volunteer.
Brian, who has spent thousands of hours volunteering since the 1980s, protested the attention she received stating that she shows up once a week and “[doesn’t] do that much.”
Brian said she retired from 33 years of teaching school in the summer of 1983, took some time to travel and then began volunteering at the Weatherford hospital in January of 1984.
“I just like to put back,” Brian said.
They first placed her in medical records and later transferred her to radiology, where she said there is more patient interaction.
She enjoys the opportunity to assist patients during her four hours of service each Thursday morning.
Even medical issues haven’t been able to hold her back. Brian took a leave of absence one year to get her hip fixed but continued to volunteer faithfully after her recovery.
“A lot of the people come through, and the people don’t feel very good, and if they have to go to the lab, I go with them,” Brian described her job. “I go with them to medical records to get their little tapes or that sort of thing.”
“Mostly, I think it’s just to make the patients feel better,” Brian said. “To me, that’s why I like to work up there.”
Brian remembered a woman who was waiting to have tests done in radiology one day.
The patient was scared and considering going home instead so Brian said she simply began talking with her and sat and visited with her as time passed.
“I can distract,” Brian said with a laugh.