An Elvis impersonator set the mood for “Rocking and Rolling for 50 Years,” Monmouth Medical Center’s 50th Annual Adult Volunteer Awards Ceremony.
With more than 100 volunteers gathering at Branches in West Long Branch to celebrate on an afternoon set aside for them, the event paid tribute to the 450 members of Monmouth’s volunteer corps, who touch lives and lift spirits every day.
Monmouth’s volunteers continue to contribute more than 35,000 hours annually to more than 80 hospital departments and are instrumental in carrying out the mission of Monmouth Medical Center.
“This annual awards ceremony was created to show how much we appreciate the role our volunteers play on the health care team,” said Laura A. Siemientkowski, Coordinator, Volunteer Services. “Together we all make Monmouth Medical Center a better place, and that’s what being part of a team is about; everyone doing their part to make the hospital a success.”
Considered ambassadors for the medical center, volunteers play an important role in many areas throughout Monmouth Medical Center — from assisting hospitalized patients or those receiving care in the Emergency Department or outpatient areas. Among the key hospital initiatives where volunteers lend a hand are hourly rounding on patient units and screening visitors for signs of infectious disease at the front desk.
Thanks to the Volunteer Candy Corp., Monmouth is able to donate items to support patient care, such as the word search puzzles that were requested by patients. Among the accomplishments of the program over the last year was an expansion of the hospital’s pet therapy program.
“Pet therapy has many healing effects on hospitalized patients and their families, and our Foundation has secured grants to expand the service that is now called the Freed Therapeutic Paws Program,” Siemientkowski said.
The Awards Ceremony featured the presentation of the 2014 Clara Field Volunteer Award of Excellence to Tinton Falls resident Bill Weller, an 18-year Monmouth Medical Center volunteer who spends each Thursday delivering newspapers to patients and staff throughout the hospital.
In announcing the award for Weller, who also was honored with The Volunteer Professionalism Award and Congenial Volunteer Award, Siemientkowski shared these excerpts from his nomination:
“Dependability, kindness, respect, and dedicated to volunteering no matter what he is going through.”
“Bill is cheerful and dedicated to Monmouth Medical Center.”
“Bill is dedicated to ensuring that everyone receives their newspapers every week, even during holidays. He always puts Monmouth Medical Center first.”
“Bill, who also received his 4,500-hour bar, as well as the Congenial Volunteer and Volunteer Professionalism Awards, consistently volunteers on Thursdays for the entire day until every newspaper is delivered, and when he is done at 4:30, he asks what else he can do,” Siemientkowski said. “He stops in at our Volunteer Services office and at the Front Desk to see if anything needs to be delivered — that is a long day!”
“Bill comes in on holidays to ensure that the patients receive their newspapers, and if a patient requests a special newspaper from the gift shop, it isn’t unusual for this volunteer to pay for the paper himself and personally deliver it,” she added.
Groups of volunteers were recognized with a host of awards, including Volunteer Professionalism, the Congenial Volunteer, and the Volunteer Team Player. Nearly 60 other volunteers were honored with longevity awards and the members of the 500-Hour Club were recognized for donating at least 500 volunteer hours during 2013.
To learn more about volunteer opportunities at Monmouth Medical Center, call 732-923-6670.
CAPTION: Bill Weller receives the Clara Field Volunteer Award of Excellence from Volunteer Services coordinator Laura A. Siemientkowski, left, and Monmouth Medical Center chief operating officer Bill Arnold. Also pictured is Joanna Rosario, director of Patient Satisfaction for Monmouth.
About Monmouth Medical Center
Located in Long Branch, N.J., Monmouth Medical Center, a Barnabas Health facility, along with The Unterberg Children’s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center, is one of New Jersey’s largest teaching hospitals and has been an affiliate of Philadelphia’s Drexel University College of Medicine for more than 40 years. From its earliest days, Monmouth Medical Center has been a leader in surgical advancement and has introduced many technological firsts to the region, including robotic surgery and other minimally invasive techniques. The hospital is routinely recognized by HealthGrades, the nation’s largest premier independent health care quality company, for excellence in both emergency medicine and maternity care. U.S. News & World Report has recognized Monmouth as a regional leader in cancer, geriatrics, gynecology, neurology and neurosurgery. For more information on Monmouth Medical Center, visit