“Stories of Service: OMC Celebrates the Compassion and Commitment
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
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
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