Health volunteer trio honoured
Three West Wimmera Health Service volunteers have won recognition from Health Minister Jill Hennessy for their tireless contribution to helping those in need.
The trio collected 2018 Minister for Health Volunteer Awards at a ceremony in Melbourne.
Ms Hennessy paid tribute to the thousands of volunteers across Victoria who selflessly dedicate their time at hospitals, community health centres and aged care facilities to make a difference to the lives of patients, visitors and residents.
West Wimmera Health Service chief executive Ritchie Dodds congratulated the recipents.
“As a health service, we are very proud and extremely grateful for the invaluable contribution all of our volunteers make to the lives of our patients, residents and customers,” he said.
“Without our volunteers, the scope and quality of services we provide just would not be possible.
“To have three local community members who volunteer at West Wimmera Health Service nominated in this year’s awards is a real tribute to the tremendous contribution that they have each made over many years.”
Mrs Keller, of Nhill, was nominated in the Outstanding Achievement by a Volunteer – Improving the Patient Experience category; Margaret Lingham, Rupanyup, was nominated for the Outstanding Achievement by a Volunteer – Better Care Victoria Innovation Award; and David Kreutzer, Minyip, was nominated in the Outstanding Achievement by a Volunteer – Supporting Diversity category.
Both Mrs Keller and Mr Kreutzer, accompanied by their sons, attended the ceremony at Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Mr Dodds said the event provided an opportunity for the health service’s volunteers to mingle with other like-minded and dedicated people who shared a common passion to make a difference to the lives of others when they needed it most.
Mrs Lingham has devoted more than 30 years to the betterment of care for the residents, patients and families of Rupanyup Hospital and Nursing Home.
Mr Dodds said Mrs Lingham was a spritely and beloved friend around the nursing home.
“Margaret actively recruits community members to volunteer, assists with a long list of activities for the residents including the monthly music program, has prepared many funding submissions, and she is never too busy to help bake goods for cake stalls to help raise valuable money for the Rupanyup facilities,” he said.
For more than 15 years, Mr Kreutzer has been an enthusiastic volunteer driver for members of the Minyip, Murtoa and Rupanyup communities as part of the volunteer transport program.
“David assists clients who are unable to drive themselves to medical appointments,” Mr Dodds said.
“He goes over and above to ensure the comfort and safety of his passengers and the service he provides is invaluable to their health and wellbeing.”
Mrs Keller has been a dedicated volunteer for more than 20 years.
“She entertains the residents of the Iona Digby Harris Nursing Home at Nhill with her gifted piano playing, and offers companionship and a friendly chat for people whenever she visits,” Mr Dodds said.
“Phyllis’s piano sessions are not only a source of great enjoyment for residents, but they also help to encourage memory recall through music therapy.”
Mr Dodds acknowledged the service of the three nominated volunteers, along with the entire 128 community members who volunteer their time to West Wimmera Health Service in a multitude of ways.
“Volunteers are the glue that hold our communities together. The dedication, empathy and willingness of all of our volunteers is both invaluable and truly inspiring,” he said.
Registered volunteers spend their time on auxiliary and nursing home support committees, as community advisors, companions for patients and residents, driving people to medical appointments and delivering meals.
People can call volunteer co-ordinator Kate Pilgrim on 5391 4222 or email kate.pil[email protected] for more information about becoming a volunteer.
DEDICATED: David and Phyllis Keller at the 2018 Minister for Health Volunteer Awards, where Mrs Keller was acknowledged for her tireless contribution to West Wimmera Health Service.
RECOGNITION: West Wimmera Health Service volunteer David Kreutzer, pictured with son Paul, was acknowledged for his dedication to volunteering.