The theme was “volunteers make the world a better place” as Maimonides Medical Center hosted its annual volunteer recognition ceremony on June 4. The luncheon was held at the Paradise Manor at 5802 New Utrecht Avenue, with 400 Maimonides volunteers, employees and community guests in attendance.
“Maimonides Medical Center has one of the largest Volunteer Departments in the city, said Volunteer and Student Services Director Alla Zats.
“Every year, we have close to 1,800 volunteers from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds giving freely of their time, expertise and compassion to our patients and providing invaluable support for our staff,” she said. “They contribute about 250,000 hours of service to the medical center annually.”
The yearly event recognizes those who volunteer their time at the center for all of the work they do throughout the year. Close to 400 volunteers, members of the Maimonides administration and community guests were in attendance.
Opening remarks were delivered by Maimonides Executive Vice President Douglas Jablon. “Our volunteers are from 14 years old to 96 years old,” said Jablon. “They are the angels from God and the richest people of good deeds.”
Welcoming remarks were delivered by Maimonides President and CEO Kenneth Gibbs following a special volunteer video feature presentation. Gibbs said that the volunteers are the true heartbeat of the hospital. He called it an honor to work with such a dedicated team of volunteers.
“Your generosity and enthusiasm are both valuable contributions that enrich the lives of our caregivers, our patients and their loved ones,” said Gibbs.
“You make our hospital a special place,” he added.
The guest speaker was City Councilmember Justin Brannan who delivered an inspiring and motivational address to the volunteers.
“I was born at Maimonides and 20-something years later, a doctor saved my life here so it will always have a very special place in my heart,” said Brannan.
“The volunteers here make the world go round,” he went on. “Sure, the fantastic doctors, surgeons and nurses here have saved people’s lives on a daily basis but the support you give, the love you give, the patience and understanding… It may not be ‘medicine’ but it is just as powerful and important to the overall healing process.”
Chaplaincy volunteers Susan Holland and Miriam Silva received special recognition for all their efforts on behalf of the hospital and the Catholic church. Holland has been with Maimonides for over 20 years and Silva for the past decade.
“It is not just the quantity but the quality of our volunteers that I always emphasize,” Zats told this paper. “Our volunteers make Maimonides Medical Center a better hospital, and they make the world a brighter place.”