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MHVRP News - Fall/Winter 2018

Message from Our President

Kim Francis, President

Hello Michigan colleagues!

I hope that you had an enjoyable summer and were able to step away from work and do some playing. With fall on its way, I am excited to attend the annual AHVRP conference beginning on Friday, September 28 in Chicago. I will bring back best practice information and the great ideas that I learn about and share them with you at the Fall Education Day in St. John’s on Monday, October 15. During the conference, I will be representing MHVRP at the AHVRP chapter meeting, attending a VSys training, be present to see an award being given to one of our members for a volunteer program of theirs and partake in AHVRP’s 50th Anniversary Dinner. I am very proud to represent our group and support our own Kristyn Ireland from North Ottawa Community Hospital who is the current AHVRP President.

I have been a member of MHVRP for over 8 years now and have reaped so many benefits from being a member and being a part of the Board. Healthcare volunteer resource professionals are really a small group of people and what I like about that is the relationships we can create, the ease then in which we can share with each other and the support that is given as well. I have also appreciated learning about advocacy and health care legislative issues from the Michigan Health and Hospital Association. The involvement in MHVRP and the Board has widened my horizons both personally and professionally.

We are currently in our Membership Renewal time period and this year we are also doing a Membership Drive and reaching out to member organizations of MHA that are not currently in our membership. Other things that we are working on are improving our website information especially in regards to posting best practice information and documents. Don’t forget to take advantage of our Googlegroup – reach out to your colleagues with questions at any time! I hope to see you all at the Fall Education Day and then to start planning for our time together in the Spring for MHVRP’s annual conference.

Always feel free to email or call me with any questions, concerns or feedback.

Kim Francis, MSW MHVRP President

Volunteer Services, manager

Spectrum Health, Grand Rapids, MI



MHVRP Fall Education Day | October 15, 2018

Suzie Hicks, Conference Chair

Our MHVRP fall education day was held on Monday October 15th , at AgriLiquid Conference Center in St. Johns. We would like to thank Nan Simons from Sparrow Clinton Hospital for providing the beautiful space for our fall education day and to MHA for providing lunch to our participants. We had a line-up of outstanding speakers that entertained and educated us for a great day of learning. Linda Smith and Christina Campbell along with 2 volunteers and Benson the dog, started off the day with their pet therapy program. We all know that a pet can make your day so much better, this was the perfect start to our day. Linda and Christina have a great program that allows the hospital to “own” their dogs with an employee responsible for parenting each of their 2 dogs at night and weekends. Volunteers are trained to work with the dogs and they are present in the hospital each day providing comfort to those in need.

We are grateful for the AHVRP Annual Conference overviews from Erin O’Mara, Kristyn Ireland and Kim Francis. They each talked about the highlights of classes they observed and what they learned at the conference in Chicago.

Erin Lekberg from Spectrum Health process improvement led us through the four steps of improvement via the KATA routine, demonstrating how sometimes when we overthink or seek to improve our methods, our performance can actually decline or slow down. It was interesting to see this in action. The Kanban board is a working visual model to use for projects in que, projects in process and projects completed. This board was both useful and practical with members complimenting on how they could incorporate this method with their daily work to stay on track and organized.

Terri Morse finished off the day with a recap of how she uses the concepts from Rob Toonkel, our spring conference speaker. She reminded us that using visual props is the best way to teach our volunteers about safety, fire, confidentiality and empathy for our patients. Terri has incorporated many of Rob’s techniques into her volunteer orientation and her use of props helps the volunteers to remember the details.

Fall education day is a great way to connect with each other, learn from experts in our field and share our successes so that others are inspired to try new things. We received positive feedback from the 28 who were in attendance on the speakers, conference center and the food. The conference center was easy to get to with plenty of parking and our speakers did an excellent job of relaying their messages to us, making for an educational and fun day of learning!

Thank you, Suzanne Hicks Education Chair


Regional Roundtables Announced for 2019

Don’t pass up this opportunity to share and learn from your colleagues. Feel free to bring along another volunteer professional from your department, organization, or community. You do not have to be a member of MHVRP to attend.

Friday, March 22

10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Ascension Genesys Hospital, Grand Blanc

rsvp to Karen VanCura:

Friday, April 19

12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Spectrum Health - Butterworth Hospital, Grand Rapids

rsvp to Kim Francis:

Friday, July 26

10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak

rsvp to Nancy Carlisi:

If you would be willing to host a regional meeting, please contact me.

Thank you,

Karen VanCura

MHVRP Professional Development Chair


Program Development

Ryan Schultz, Treasurer

Should you be starting a new program then you are really thinking about a new service that the organization will be providing. Sometimes people get so excited about their idea for a new product or service, that they almost become very excited-- without really verifying if there really is a market for their new product or service in the first place! Questions to ask yourself: have you been asked about starting the program from multiple staff members, is there a need within the hospital, is this a volunteer experience you would want to do, does this add value to the hospital and add to patient satisfaction. These are just a few of the questions you need to ask yourself before starting a new program and will ultimately lead to a successful one as well. Some basic planning and asking yourself the above questions can go a long way toward verifying if there's a market for a product or service, and whether you're really committed to starting it.

The most important thing in program development is once you have determined that you have a need within the hospital is to have buy in from the staff. We all know we have great ideas or have heard of great ideas on how to make our health care facilities a better place but sometimes staff can be resistant to change. How can we go about creating change? Sometimes we must put ourselves out there and we have to use a word that probably makes some of us cringe- SELL. Sell the idea to the staff by showing them it has worked at other Health Care Facilities by backing it up with data. You want to prove to staff that this is a valuable investment for your hospital. Gather data on patient satisfaction scores from other facilities (have they increased since the program started?). Review patient contact, how many patients the volunteers see in a day. Do staff find the volunteers helpful and allowed them to free up their own time (testimonials from other staffs at different facilities), ask your Volunteer Professional colleagues if staff members at their sites can become a resource for you as well by tapping into what they already have done. Create a compelling argument that this program is something that your staff should buy into. You know that you have amazing volunteers, let the staff know that as well. Follow these basic tips and you should be able to sell the staff on the dreams you have for your hospital. While it will take some arduous work on your end remember success is no accident.


Save the Date!

MHVRP Spring Conference - May 15-17, 2019 - Crystal Mountain

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