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MHVRP News - April 2019

Message from Our President

Kim Francis, President

Hello fellow Michigan members!

What a winter it has been in Michigan! Sometimes it is hard to believe that we will see green grass and flowers again.

I hope that you are utilizing your MHVRP member benefits to help you in your volunteer leadership position. Remember to feel free to email your colleagues using the email with questions.

Also, watch for regional meetings in your area. It is great to establish relationships with others in your region for new ideas, questions, and networking. If you haven’t seen one in your area, reach out to one of us on the Board to learn about hosting one yourself. Super easy!

I hope to see many of you at our annual Spring Conference at Crystal Mountain. I have heard our keynote speaker, Chris Perez, present at the national AHVRP conference and it will surely be worth your while to attend.

I realize some of you are AHVRP members and some are not. I will periodically share some of the information and benefits of AHVRP so you could assess if it is worthwhile for you. AHVRP offers regular free webinars as part of your membership. Lately, I have made it a priority to have my team and I watch and listen to them as part of ongoing education, to see what others are doing, ask questions, etc.

They have been offering topics such as coaching and mentoring, how volunteers can affect patient satisfaction, onboarding process improvements and much more. I will share some of that information soon for you to take a look. I think these are worth the membership cost and then some.

The AHVRP conference in Chicago last year was very well done. I left with many things to incorporate into my practices, things to share with my team and our membership. It is very interesting and exciting to meet and hear from healthcare volunteer leader professionals from across our county. AHVRP has not yet announced where this year’s conference will be but that should be available this month some time.

I will share that information as well when it is published.

If you are new to MHVRP, then we want to warmly welcome you and get to know you. Never hesitate to reach out.

And if have been a member for a while consider joining the Board. We will talk about this at the Spring Conference but reach out at any time for a discussion.

Being a part of this group for 5 years has been invaluable to me personally and professionally. It’s a group effort so no one is left to figure it out on their own.

We provide leadership, great educational and networking opportunities, support each other well, make great friends and have a lot of fun along the way!

Hope to see you at Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville!

Kim Francis, MSW MHVRP President

Volunteer Services, manager

Spectrum Health, Grand Rapids, MI



Top 5 Reasons to Attend the MHVRP Spring Conference

Teri Morse, Education CoChair

5. You just lived through Volunteer Appreciation Week and you are exhausted!

This year the conference is at beautiful Crystal Mountain Resort. Set in nature, this resort is peaceful and offers many ways to relax and rejuvenate. Guest Speaker Holly Tiret will speak on the health benefits of humor as well as addressing stress and how to relief some of the pressure in our daily lives. Come and give yourself a break.

4. You’re out of fresh ideas and looking to shake up for your Volunteer Program with something new.

Bring your paper and pen to the conference because your brain will spin with creative new ideas, programs and strategies to go home with .Your new challenge will be which one to start with!

3. You’re a one person show and none of your peers really understand what you do.

Sit in a room full of Volunteer Coordinators who know exactly what you are going through! Learn from the best. Share ideas, thoughts and challenges.

2. Your Volunteer numbers are down, and the volunteers you have are not staying as long.

Key note speaker Chris Perez addressed this very issue at Atrium Health in Charlotte, North Carolina and he has some fantastic strategies he will share regarding his programs transformation.

1. Network, build friendships, form allies.

My first conference I had only been a Volunteer Coordinator for 2 months and I knew no one. (And my facility did not have the budge for me to attend the conference) so I took a chance and paid my own way. It was the best professional decision of my career. I took home an abundance of information to build and strengthen my Volunteer Program. Everyone was friendly and open and most importantly welcoming. They took me under their wing, exchanged numbers with me and were there to give me advice and help anytime I needed it throughout the year. My Volunteer program shines because of what I have learned from the combined expertise of my fellow MHVRP members!

It’s never too late to sign up. Call Suzy Hicks 231-592-4327 or myself Terri Morse 616-486-3024 if you would like to attend.


Register Now!!

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

Suzie Hicks, Conference Chair

We are excited to be planning our 2019 Spring Conference for MHVRP to be held at Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville. The conference takes place from Wednesday May 15 through Friday May 17. We have an amazing agenda planned and we will feature Chris Perez as our key note speaker. Chris Perez is the Patient Experience Manager at Atrium Health’s Central Division, which includes Carolinas Medical Center, Levine Children’s Hospital, and Carolinas Medical Center Mercy. He also manages the Volunteer Services Department, which currently has over 800 active volunteers across the Central Division. He has been with Atrium Health for 7 years and has previous experience in Volunteer Management at the local and state government level.

We look forward to hearing Chris speak on “A patient experience-focused volunteer program” which includes developing strategic volunteer roles to impact the patient experience. “Empathy and compassion” help us to understand how patient/families experience fear and suffering and how to be an empathic leader, along with “compassion fatigue” learning to identify fatigue in yourself and others. And he will bring it all together with how do we develop programs that use volunteers strategically, how do we meet patients’ needs while fulfilling our volunteers? How do we become more person-centered leaders? This will be an interesting and impactful day for all!

Holly Tiret will be one of our speakers from MSU Extension office in Lansing. She will speak on the importance of laughter and humor with her introduction on mindfulness. As well as the benefits of how it relates to volunteers and coordinators, breathing and managing stress. Holly’s presentations will be just what we need to send us off to resume our roles with renewed purpose and usable information!

We hope you can join us at Crystal Mountain for a few days of learning, sharing our ideas and coming away with a new perspective and usable tools to help us be the best with our volunteers. We look forward to seeing you!

If you have any questions, please contact Suzie Hicks at or 231-592-4327.

Thank you, Suzanne Hicks Education Chair


What Do Siri and MHVRP Roundtable Meetings Have in Common?

Karen VanCura, Professional Development

Roundtable meetings are the “Siri” of volunteer management, in live format. You attend a meeting, you ask a question and you get a variety of suggestions and support from others who have wondered the same thing, or from peers who have conquered that same challenge. Someone else brings up a topic and this time you have experienced it and can share what’s worked for you. Throw in a couple of anecdotes, add in a lot of humor and camaraderie and you have an MHVRP roundtable meeting! Per comments from an attendee of a recent roundtable meeting: “Always interesting and informative. Like to share ideas and have a group that understands. A place to ask questions and compare notes. There is no shortage of topics! Always something to talk about.” Roundtable meetings are free of charge and you can bring along another volunteer professional from your department, organization, or community. You do not have to be a member of MHVRP to attend. Take advantage of these upcoming opportunities to share and learn from your colleagues:

Friday, July 26

10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak

rsvp to Nancy Carlisi:

Hosting the meetings are fun too, and easy! If you are willing to host a regional meeting, please contact Karen VanCura at


Music Makes A Difference

Erin O'Mara, President-Elect

Two special stories from Beaumont Hospital - Troy

The family had been on the hospice floor for many weeks with their parent. Lack of sleep, stress, and many hours of waiting had produced anxious moments for all. Staff were struggling. Local high school student, Sameep, began his regular Friday afternoon shift. He quietly entered the room and started playing his violin. Within minutes people were quiet, engaged and smiling. The family and the STAFF thanked our volunteer for making a HUGE difference at a very crucial time. The evening was quiet and peaceful for all!

Joe had never played an instrument. After his closed head injury, his doctor recommended finding a new hobby….maybe one with music since he knew about the calming effects. Joe took a few lessons on his rented keyboard and suddenly was less agitated and eager to start the day. Suddenly Joe was composing music. Savant type qualities had emerged from the head injury. So, Joe can’t drive or remember what he had for breakfast but he can compose music! New parts of the brain had been activated. Joe spends every Tuesday and Thursday morning playing our baby grand in the Main Lobby. He brings soothing, calming and gentle sounds to many anxious people, including himself.

According to award winning naturopathic practitioner, Louise Jensen, music brings healing and joy to patients. She states:

* When we listen to music our brain releases dopamine which is a feel-good chemical. It has effects on emotion, perception and movement.

* Music is proven to physiologically affect heart rate, breathing and pulse rate resulting in physical chills of pleasure. Research shows that when a patient liked the music playing, the blood vessels relaxed and opened.

* Happy lyrics help us to think positively. “Walking on Sunshine” anyone? * Music can lift mood, reduce anxiety, raise motivation and helps combat insomnia and depression.

* Music can trigger associated memories transporting you back to special occasions. Elvis Presley brings back my Mom for a minute! * Music physically heals – yes really. Research shows that human blood cells respond to sound frequencies by changing color and shape. Sick or rogue cells can be healed or harmonized with sound.

My best hospital musicians are coming from discharged patients and the local high schools. I am also looking to local colleges and their healing arts programs. Many students need internship opportunities and maybe can get your program started!

“One good things about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” Louis Armstrong



Erin O'Mara, President-Elect

In Shock-My Journey from Death to Recovery and the Redemptive Power of Hope

Book by Rana Awish (Detroit physician)

Privileged Presence: Personal Stories of Connections in Health Care

Book by Bev Johnson and Liz Crocker

You Can Stop Humming Now: A Doctor's Stories of Life, Death, and in Between

Book by Daniela Lamas

When Breath Becomes Air Death, and in Between

Book by Paul Kalanith


Membership Update

Julie Boscgalia, Membership Chair

I know that you are all ready and anticipating warmer days and the beautiful sunshine. We are excited to see many of you at the Spring Conference at Crystal Mountain! We currently have 74 Members with 23 new members. If you know of any new Directors, Managers, or Coordinators in your healthcare system please let me know and I will be happy to reach out to them. As you all know MHVRP is awesome resource for many reasons! Some being great communications via email, regional roundtables as well as meeting great friends! Hope you had a wonderful National Volunteer Week. A great reminder to show us why we love what we do! An updated membership list is available in the "Members Only" sections of the website!

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