Patient programs, scholarships win with volunteer grants
Hospital gift shop income produces $78,500 in awards
Banner Health Security Officer Tyler Beckle and Kyra

GREELEY, Colo. (Jan. 22, 2018) – At their recent meeting, Volunteer Leadership Council members approved $78,500 for hospital projects at the North Colorado Medical Center. The funding, raised through net profits from the hospital gift shop, go toward a variety of new and continued programs to support patient care.

A large portion of the approved funds will purchase four new fetal monitors for the Monfort Family Birth Center. These monitors have improved capabilities to externally monitor babies, particularly in obese women. The current monitors make it difficult to obtain continuous fetal monitoring on obese women. This can lead to increased risk to both mom and baby. In addition to providing better monitoring, the new monitors are also wireless, which will allow moms more mobility during labor.

The remaining approved funds at the December meeting will support projects previously supported by the volunteer leadership council and ones the volunteers felt deserved continued support in 2018. Funding included $500 for the Employee Embrace Bags given to staff who have experienced a traumatic event and could use a little extra support, as well as $2,000 to continuing purchasing small stuffed teddy bears for pediatric patients in the Emergency Department. The animals provide a distraction and a needed “buddy” during a scary time. It gives the volunteer or nurse a chance to bond with the patient in a special way. In 2017, the council purchased five new wheelchairs for the clinical units. They have committed to purchasing additional wheelchairs in 2018 and to improve wheelchair usage and storage.

One of the major projects started in 2017 that will continue in 2018 is support of the NCMC security department. In 2017 a new member was added to the security team. The volunteers funded the addition of Kyra, the newest dog to join the team. The addition of Kyra allowed the department to add a second K9 unit to help increase the coverage and capabilities of the security team. The K9 units are a deterrent to criminal activity, help provide support in dangerous and stressful situations, and also assist with narcotics detection.

Volunteers will also continue to help fund taxi rides in 2018 for patients without transportation options upon discharge. The volunteers partner with the Care Coordination department in this effort and cover rides in the Greeley/Evans area. The social workers and case managers approve the vouchers and closely monitor the process.

Often it is the little things that help make a difference in someone’s experience at the hospital. Warm cookies, daily newspaper delivery, and special handmade items are several ways volunteers help provide comfort to patients and guests. The leadership council once again voted in favor of providing funds for cookie dough for fresh baked cookies to be delivered to guests throughout the hospital by volunteers. The local newspaper is delivered on meal trays each day thanks to volunteers, and funds will also be used to purchase yarn for the textile volunteers who spend hours making items such as comfort shawls, baby hats, comfort shawls and blankets.

In 2018, the volunteers will continue one of their favorite efforts – providing scholarships to deserving students. The council granted $20,000 in scholarships to NCMC student volunteers who showed dedication to volunteering, community involvement and scholastic endeavors.