HMH Auxiliary wins HANDS award for two projects from Kentucky Hospital Association

May 18, 2017

Today, Hardin Memorial Health Auxiliary received a Helping Accomplish Noteworthy Duties

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. – Today, Hardin Memorial Health Auxiliary received a Helping Accomplish Noteworthy Duties Successfully (HANDS) award at the 88th Annual Kentucky Hospital Association (KHA) Convention in Lexington, Kentucky.

The KHA presents HANDS awards to hospital volunteer and auxiliary groups that conduct outstanding projects and services to further support their healthcare systems and patients. This year, Hardin Memorial Health was one of only four hospitals to be recognized with this award, and one of only two in the over-100 beds category.

“I am so proud to be a part of this incredible volunteer team who give so much of themselves to our rapidly growing regional healthcare system,” said HMH Auxiliary President Hans Marsen. 

At today’s convention, KHA recognized the HMH Auxiliary for two projects from the past year: a volunteer-taught harmonica class and a concerted effort to promote volunteerism.

HMH Director of Volunteer Services Kevin Hilton said he was thrilled to hear that the HMH Auxiliary was recognized for two projects.

“It is very unusual, if not completely unprecedented, for a hospital to win an award for two projects in one year,” Hilton said. “Hans and the volunteer leadership set ambitious 2016 goals and worked with our 140 Auxiliary members to accomplish them. Our volunteers are passionate about improving care for HMH patients.”

HMH Auxiliary Volunteer Dave Vandermolen teaches a harmonica class for HMH Cardiopulmonary Rehab patients. In the class, patients learn proper diaphragm breathing methods by practicing breathing in and out of a harmonica. Playing harmonicas helps strengthen a patient’s abdominal muscles to assist in coughing, exercises the muscles that bring air in and out of the lungs and, ultimately, helps gain control over their breathing. More than 60 patients have participated in Vandermolen’s class since it began in 2014.

Because Vandermolen volunteers his time, the only cost of the class is for the harmonicas, which the Auxiliary funds with money it raises.

The other award-winning project was an ongoing effort to promote volunteerism around the hospital and in the community. To raise volunteer awareness, the Auxiliary dramatically increased the amount of news shared with local media; created a volunteer website; and regularly recognized the good work of volunteers on social media. They also held ceremonies to honor volunteer donations and developed a Volunteer of the Month award.

To increase the roster of volunteers, the Auxiliary president and leaders spoke to several local organizations and made appearance on local radio shows, discussing the good work and fun Auxiliary volunteers had. They also reached out to schools to encourage teens to volunteer, and created bookmarks with volunteering data and contact information for prospective volunteers. Because of this concerted effort, HMH Auxiliary gained ten new volunteers in the first three months of 2017.