April 20, 2010

It's an Honour - Thank You

Celebrating volunteers

For such a special event, Lucille Drury had her hair done and her daughter picked out her outfit.

Lucille attended Volunteer Manitoba's 27th annual Volunteer Awards at the Convention Centre on April 20th. The event, which featured the presentation of about nine awards in total, was held during National Volunteer Appreciation Week (April 18 - 24, 2010).

The event also featured Mayor Sam Katz presenting the Mayor's Award to the Winnipeg Regional health Authority, thanks to the region's efforts in coordinating volunteers during the H1N1 pandemic response.

As many health region staff can attest, H1N1 information changed on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. In spite of this, as Volunteer Manager Suzie Matenchuk recalls: "We mobilized volunteers quite quickly through academic institutions, non-governmental organizations like the Salvation Army, Red Cross and St. John Ambulance and the general public. It was a good example of collaboration with various sectors in our field and we were able to move very quickly because of those partnerships. The H1N1 volunteers came together in a short period of time for the health of our communities."

The H1N1 mass immunization clinics ran from October 26 - December 11, 2009. During that time, thousands of people - including hundreds of volunteers - rose to the occasion to help as many people as possible get immunized. Lucille was one of those volunteers. With 112 hours and 45 minutes contributed, she is the volunteer who gave the most time during the immunization campaign. That's why she's been invited to attend the Volunteer Awards.

Lucille volunteered mornings while the mass immunization clinics were open. "It was really important everybody got their shot so I thought I'll help out. By going every morning there was continuity. On mornings there were huge line-ups it was good to have someone who knew the procedure," Lucille says. She worked the reception area, greeted people, handed out forms and answered questions about the forms. "Some days when I left at 1:00 pm, we had put through 500 people. That clinic was so well run. It was just amazing. I had great people to work with. It was fun to go to work."

Lucille has been a volunteer with the Winnipeg Health Region for two years. Along with being present at the seasonal flu immunization clinics, she has also done data entry when the need arises. Lucille is generous with her time and supports other organizations - but from May until October you can find her at the lake . . . where she still volunteers her time to the executive committee in the community and has for the past 18 years.

"Volunteers were quite accommodating and flexible in terms of our needs," says Suzie. "I want to thank them for helping us through those weeks."

"Throughout the region, there is a diverse pool of volunteers helping make our hospitals, personal care homes and community health programs a more welcoming and friendly place by providing directions to patients and visitors, helping support patients, clients and families, raising funds for patient care and supporting the work of staff," says Suzie. "I want to thank all the Winnipeg Health Region volunteers, no matter what facility they're in, for their contributions to the health care system."

Health care offers a number of interesting, exciting and dynamic ways for people to get involved. Interested in volunteering? Visit and follow the links to the facility you're interested in contributing to.

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