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SGMC Celebrates National Healthcare Volunteer Week

Posted on: April 13th, 2016


SGMC celebrates National Healthcare Volunteer Week, April 10-16, 2016. SGMC is thankful for each and every volunteer who serves at our campuses on a daily basis. We appreciate their dedication and time. For more information on Volunteer Services at SGMC, click here. James Biles“It’s safe to say I get more out of this than I give,” says James Biles, referring to his role as a volunteer courtesy cart driver at the SGMC Outpatient Plaza.

James has been driving the cart for two years after his daughter who was a nurse encouraged him to “go back to work” because he was tired of staring at the four walls at home. James was a farmer and retired from the Georgia Department of Agriculture after 24 years as a Sanitarian. He claims the Feds loved him because he could get things done quick. He once inspected his own kitchen, leaving his wife a condemned letter. “Needless to say we’ve been married 65 years and I only made that mistake once,” he joked.

James is soft-spoken, but gets joy from helping those return to their vehicles as comfortably as possible. “I just enjoy being able to help people.” SGMC is thankful for James and the other wonderful volunteers who choose to spend their time helping us provide a positive experience. SGMC wishes James a Happy Birthday on Wednesday, April 13, as he celebrates 85 years! James Biles, Volunteer at SGMC Outpatient Plaza Melanie Ford“We’ve all been affected by cancer.

I lost my husband and sister to cancer. For me, serving at the Pearlman Cancer Center is a way to honor their lives and memories through support of patients and their incredible team,” says Melanie Ford, volunteer at the Pearlman Cancer Center. Melanie has been a volunteer since she retired from home care 2-1/2 years ago. Melanie lost her husband, Tommy Barr at age 44, and her sister Sherrie Ford at age 64.

Melanie serves alongside Cancer Center chemotherapy nurses and patients. Her smile and warmth is contagious. SGMC thanks Melanie every day, but especially during National Healthcare Volunteer Week, for her selfless service to our community and SGMC. Melanie Ford, Volunteer at Pearlman Cancer Center Mary Young Manning“I count my blessings of health as I enter the Center, as I leave, and every time I hear the word ‘cancer,’” says Mary Young Manning, Pearlman Cancer Center Volunteer. “I always anticipate the blessings I know I will receive as I go about my ‘duties’ and interact with patients.”

Mary Young joins a special group of nurses and other staff members who care and compassionately treat those with cancer and other blood related disorders. Mary Young says what she does may be seemingly small things, but they make a huge difference in a very busy outpatient setting. She’s been a volunteer for 10 years, after retiring from South Georgia Medical Center with more than 30 years of service. Mary Young says you only need a few qualities for this role: “smiles, cheer, and encouragement.”

Mary showcases Pearlman’s 2016 Women’s Choice Award for Best Hospitals in America for Cancer Care, an award earned not only by the dedicated physicians and staff, but by the selfless care of its volunteers! Mary Young Manning, Volunteer at Pearlman Cancer Center Maribel Sepulveda “The positive feedback I receive from SGMC staff is very rewarding,” says Maribel Sepulveda referring to her volunteer shift in Post Partum.

“I come willingly, expecting nothing in return but receive gratitude from those around me and appreciate the staff’s willingness to include me in their daily routine.” Maribel is a Biology major at Valdosta State University and will volunteer at the hospital for six months. Maribel is interested in becoming a doctor and is using this experience to help her identify those specialties that interest her the most. “I love the feeling of being able to help, and I want to enhance my skills so that I will be able to care for patients in need.”

We wish Maribel the best in her academic career and thank her for her service to our team! Maribel Sepulveda, Volunteer in Post Partum Pearl Wright Looking for a smile? Look no further than Pearl Wright, a volunteer in SGMC’s Emergency Department. Pearl is in her fifth year as a volunteer, but is no stranger to health care. Pearl retired from SGMC after 42 years of service in Respiratory Therapy.

She spends her time making patients comfortable, whether that be communicating a need to a caregiver, or simply providing an extra pillow or blanket. “I just enjoy helping patients and their family members,” says Pearl. She also finds joy in the interaction with her former coworkers. Pearl’s positive attitude and warmth is contagious and SGMC is honored that Pearl chooses to continue to help others through her volunteer service. Thank you Pearl! Pearl Wright, Volunteer at Emergency Department.