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MHVRP Newsletter • Fall 2017

A Message from Our President

Julie Elliot, President

First of all, thank you to MHVRP for supporting Kim Francis and myself to attend the AHVRP conference in Phoenix! There were over 400 people at the conference from all over the US! It was a special moment to watch our very own Kristyn Ireland being sworn in as the next AHVRP President! Kristyn has always been very involved in the board at MHVRP and will do a fantastic job representing Michigan!

I was fortunate to be chosen to be on the 2017 AHVRP Conference Planning Committee and had some responsibilities with vetting some of the speakers for the conference. I also facilitated two networking sessions on gift shops. This was a valuable experience for me as I was able to network with different peers throughout the industry. I attended two professional development sessions, one on the gift shop and one on digital resources for your volunteer departments. I attended many sessions including: Patient Experience: Improving Volunteer Retention & Patient Care Delivery, two gift shop related sessions, one about recruiting volunteers and how to stand out and another one about recruiting Gen X & Y volunteers. There was a great presentation given by Laura Stack about productivity, she was very energizing and very engaging!

I am looking forward to attending the October 23rd Education Day! Hope to see you all there!


MHVRP Fall Education Day - Monday, October 23rd

Gabby Vandermolen & Suzie Hicks, Education Chair & Co-Chair

On Monday, October 23, MHVRP members will gather in the Sparrow-Clark Conference Center in Lansing Michigan. This day of training and networking is full of topics that are sure to be of interest to volunteer professionals. This year’s line-up of speakers includes:

  • Updates from Stacy Dowdy of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association

  • Rethinking Recruitment and Retention - Amanda Reel, United Way

  • New MHVRP Website and Google Groups: Technology Tools to Help You Succeed! - Sarah Knochel, Covenant HealthCare

  • Patient Family Advisory Councils (PFAC) - Deb Sprague, Spectrum Health

  • Teamwork: Building a Strong Relationship Between Staff and Volunteers - Nancy Carlisi, Beaumont Hospital

  • AHVRP Update and Conference Recap - Kristyn Ireland, Julie Elliot and Kim Francis

Fall Education Day is free to MHVRP members and includes a continental breakfast and lunch! New this year, non-member volunteer professionals are invited to attend for a $30 fee. RSVP today to Education Chair Gabby VanderMolen at

Sneak Preview of Spring Conference 2018

Mark your calendars for our Spring Conference May 16-18, 2018, in beautiful Petoskey, Michigan. We will stay at the beautiful Inn at Bay Harbor on the shores of Lake Michigan. Nationally recognized speaker Rob Toonkel will present “A is for Always – Educating Volunteers to Maximize Results.”

This presentation touches on all the bases of educating volunteers, from orientation tactics to customer service techniques to annual education. Designed to engage and retain volunteers while maximizing patient and volunteer satisfaction. The training is best described as “dynamic, interactive, and adaptable to any healthcare institution that accepts volunteers.”

This is a “packed with learning” experience you won’t want to miss!


Work Life Balance - AHVRP Recap

Kim Francis - President Elect

As your President Elect, I was so fortunate to attend the recent AHVRP national conference in Phoenix. It was my first time attending the national conference and it was well worth the time and resources. I attended at least five general sessions and six breakout sessions, which offered so much to choose from that it was hard to pick. But I picked well as I walked away with great information to share and use from every single one. The most dynamic (and energetic and funny!) speaker was Laura Stack who is a keynote speaker and bestselling author who focuses on productivity. She talked to the group about how to keep our job, our family and our sanity. We all know that life balance is challenging and you never really achieve true balance, but we need to work each day on getting to a place that is truly a good and healthy place for us.

Laura discussed four important things to remember:

  1. Allocate your time by priority: We all have to REALLY examine what our work duties are and make sure we designate time for the high-value activities and reduce the low-value tasks. And we can’t forget to delegate, delegate, delegate! We have to let go of control.

  2. Quiet your brain: Laura encourages us to focus on the task at hand. Don’t think about work when you are on personal time. When you are working and other “to do’s” pop into your mind, write them down quickly and resist the urge to do them right then and now.

  3. Set appropriate boundaries: We need to learn to say “No.” Many of us in this profession are caregivers, helpers and truly just nice people. But this can set us back in our goals and cause stress down the road.

  4. Manage discretionary time: Take time to learn your patterns and make better decisions when you are in the “now.” Do what matters in order!

I encourage you to sign up for her free monthly newsletter, The Productivity Pro (trademarked name) at

I am really looking forward to hearing her words of wisdom regularly. There are also free videos on her website and some other resources so take a look!

Here are some additional comments from Laura:

  • When we are multitasking, we are not getting ONE thing done.

  • Figure out what only you can do and do those things; delegate the rest.

  • We’ve all heard of ROI (return on investment) but Laura likes to use PROI or personal return on investment. We need to keep this in mind when planning our day. WE are the ones who can CHOOSE what we do (and, yes, this can apply to a lot of our time at work). Always ask: “what is the use of this?”

  • Stick to one thing until you get there!

  • Fight the urge to always do the easy, fun, quick, trivial things just to get them off our list. Do what is important and gives the most bang for our buck!

  • LIST MAKING is vital! Make the intangible, tangible!

  • Don’t let people bust your boundaries.

  • Don’t overgive; take “me” time.

  • Don’t do things you hate. (Oh, good, no more toilet cleaning!)

  • Be true to yourself.

  • Ask for help.

Our reward for doing the things above is more time and more happiness.


Membership News

Julie Boscaglia, Membership Chair

I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful October! MHVRP is currently in the process of membership renewals for the upcoming year. Renewals were sent out via email in August. If you did not receive a renewal or would like a duplicate copy sent, please feel free to contact me at If you have processed your application with your organization and it is pending payment, please let me know. We know that it takes some time for memberships to get processed.

We are so excited for our Fall Education Day on October 23, 2017, for which there is no charge if you are a current member. It's just one of the many perks of the MHVRP membership. Please keep in mind if you know anyone who could benefit from our group, we would be happy to talk to them. Feel free to share my contact information.

You will be receiving a confirmation of your renewal along with a payment receipt. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me.


Creative Ways to Say THANK YOU

Sarah Knochel, Social Media Chair

Looking for a quick and simple way to recognize your volunteers? Maybe you need to recognize just one, or a group...or maybe your entire population of volunteers. If your like me, you need to be resourceful and economical with your gift giving. Thanks to Pinterest and other online websites, there are a plethora of options that just take a little time to put together.

Here are just a few:

  • MOUNDS of thanks for all you do! (Mounds Candy Bar)

  • HANDS down you’re one of our greatest volunteers! (Hand sanitizer)

  • Thanks for helping when we are in a CRUNCH! (Crunch candy bar)

  • You deserve a BREAK! (Kit Kat Bar)

  • Thank you for CHIPping in to help! (Bag of chips)

  • Thanks for being a FANTAstic volunteer (Fanta orange pop)

  • Just POPPING by to say thank you for all you do! (Microwave popcorn)

  • You may think we’re NUTS, but we love our volunteers! (nuts)

  • You deserve a PAYDAY for being a great volunteer! (payday candy bar)

  • We appreciate your commitMINT to volunteering! (role of mints)

  • Thanks for being a LIFE SAVER! (life savers)

  • Thanks for going the EXTRA mile! (Extra gum)

  • We’ve got to HAND it to you…You’re a great volunteer!

  • Wish we had S’MORE volunteers like you! (smore kits)

What would you add to this list? Email us your ideas and we will put a complete list on the Resource Directory!

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