As part of National Volunteer Week, physicians and staff at Banner Ironwood and Banner Goldfield medical centers recently recognized volunteers in a unique and safe way.
Last month, volunteers at both hospitals--- Banner Ironwood, 37000 N. Gantzel Road in Queen Creek, and Banner Goldfield, 2050 W. Southern Ave. in Apache Junction --- were asked to temporarily suspend their time volunteering as a precaution.
Nearly all of the volunteers are 60 years of age or older, placing them at higher risk for COVID-19, according to a release.
This week, volunteers were invited back to the hospitals to drive by, receive applause and accept a gift as thanks for their service and commitment to patients and visitors. Physicians and staff greeted them with signs while wearing face masks and practicing social distancing.
“During a normal National Volunteer Week celebration, we would also serve them a nice lunch and they would receive a ‘thank you’ gift,” said Lucky Romero, senior manager of volunteer services and gift shop operations at Banner Ironwood and Banner Goldfield.
“With the current situation, our only option was to celebrate our volunteers in a safe manner, which is why we asked them to drive by so we could recognize them for their work and dedication to our employees, visitors and patients," Mr. Romero said.
While employees at both hospitals miss working with these volunteers as they provide an invaluable service, they also know this change has been necessary and look forward to welcoming them back in the near future.
“We absolutely love and miss our volunteers. While they help us a lot, they also inspire us to be better at what we do when it comes to serving our local community," Mr. Romero said.
Headquartered in Arizona, Banner Health is a nonprofit health care system.
Banner Health owns and operates 28 acute-care hospitals, Banner Health Network, Banner – University Medicine, academic and employed physician groups, long-term care centers, outpatient surgery centers and an array of other services; including Banner Urgent Care, family clinics, home care and hospice services, pharmacies and a nursing registry.
Banner Health is in six states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming. For more information, go to BannerHealth.com.