We are growing for our community

100,000 sq. ft. hospital expansion coming soon

“Stories of Service: OMC Celebrates the Compassion and Commitment of Volunteers”

“Stories of Service: OMC Celebrates the Compassion and Commitment of Volunteers”

By Stacy Tintocalis, Freelance Writer

“I volunteer because it feeds my soul,” said Dennis Lawson, one of Ozarks Medical Center’s (OMC’s) 140 volunteers.

Like so many of OMC’s volunteers, Lawson understates the vital role he plays: OMC’s volunteers feed our souls, too. They serve an emotional and spiritual role to everyone they encounter—to every patient having the worst day or his or her life, to every concerned visitor they guide down the hall, and to every OMC coworker exhausted at the end of the day.

OMC would like to thank its volunteers for being there to provide smiles and strength to OMC’s visitors, patients, and coworkers. National Volunteer Week celebrates the vital role that volunteers play throughout the country. In 2017 alone, OMC’s 140 volunteers contributed over 26,935 hours, a contribution valued at more than $650,210.

OMC volunteers range from high school students to retirees, each expressing desires to serve the community and feel needed. Between the lines of their stories, you find people with very big hearts: Volunteers express sincere joy being around other people, joy making others feel better, and joy giving a helping hand. “The reward for me is being able to put a smile on the face of a patient, visitor, or even a coworker,” said volunteer John M. Deidiker.

Each volunteer tells a unique story for being at OMC. Many volunteers who had retired relate stories of feeling adrift, bored, or useless after leaving their careers. Brenda Thompson opened up about feeling lost and without purpose when she retired from the factory where she’d worked for 33 years. “[Volunteering] has been the most rewarding and best decision I have ever made,” she said.

Waynita Cahoj echoed similar feelings. Waynita was an employed at OMC for 34 years but was afraid that when she retired, she’d “go home to a chair and vegetate.” Volunteering prevented that and now gives her time to socialize with old friends.

Other volunteers turned to OMC to experience a change—a change of setting from “hiding between the four walls” of her home, as Iris Tugwell put it, to a change of profession for Steven Shaul, who retired from 29 years of teaching. “This new adventure gave me a new way to be,” Shaul said. “I feel a sense of freedom from the chains my career placed on my time and efforts.”

“Volunteers play an important role in the mission of Ozarks Medical Center,” said Volunteer Coordinator Dianne Hoover. “By volunteering within the health care system, individuals provide valuable support for patients, visitors and coworkers of OMC. Our volunteers find their experience and the chance to give back to the community very rewarding.”

OMC’s volunteers express feelings of pride and liberation just being able to do something different. Susan Richardson enjoys working at the back desk by the GI lab and working as a chaplain. John M. Deidiker enjoys driving the shuttle. “Whatever an individual’s interest might be,” said Hoover, “OMC will work with volunteers to find a schedule and position to suit them.”

Volunteer opportunities include positions at Guest Services, Outpatient Surgery, Clinic Office Support, Courtesy Shuttle, Emergency Department, Rehabilitation Services, West Plains Thrift Store, Mountain View Thrift Store, Gift Shop, Homecare Hospice, or as a volunteer Chaplain. Volunteers must be at least 14 years of age and generally work three-hour shifts.

To learn more about becoming a volunteer at OMC, contact Dianne Hoover at 417-293-9969.

Rose M. Vaughn: “The greatest gift any of us can give is love, understanding, be a good listener, and give a hug and a smile.”

Susan Richardson: “[Volunteering] pays many rewards in new friendships, service to others, and is the ministry God has for me at this time in my life.”

Iris Tugwell: “I’m so grateful I didn’t allow time to be stolen from me by sitting at home after my husband died.”

Ozarks Medical Center (OMC) celebrated National Volunteer Week April 15-21. Pictured left to right: OMC Volunteer Marina Yakovleva; OMC Volunteer Coordinator Dianne Hoover; and Volunteers Wilma Puckett; Cathy Bell; and Janet Kirchner.

Related Articles