MLHS Hospice volunteer Mary Ann Welsh

MLHS Hospice volunteer Mary Ann Welsh brought in her 1961 Metropolitan Nash to drive in the Car Show at MLHS Long Term Care.


National Healthcare Volunteer Week is April 7-13, when the American Hospital Association for Healthcare Volunteer Resource Professionals celebrates the service, dedication and commitment of hospital volunteers.

Volunteers are the backbone of hospitals and health systems. Their service to patients and communities helps improve care and promote collaboration among hospitals, health systems and community groups. Mille Lacs Health System thanks all those who donate their time.

Eight volunteers work with residents at both MLHS Long Term Care (nursing home) and Lake Song Assisted Living. Six volunteers and a volunteer chaplain work with MLHS Hospice/Home Care. Thirty people volunteer in the MLHS Auxiliary.

These individuals are involved in visiting with residents, helping with projects and events, bringing in animals for therapeutic use, assisting with bake sales and fundraising and providing comfort.

People who serve on the Mille Lacs Area Health Foundation Board, the Community Relations Committee, the Long Term Care Family Council and the Patient Family Advisory Council also volunteer their time. They attend meetings, participate in things like fundraising and Operation Community Connect and give valuable input about the healthcare facility in general. In addition, some employees at MLHS also help out with programming and events in the Long Term Care facility.

Rhoda Hultgren, from Big Lake, Minn., had a father who was a resident in Long Term Care for just under two years. He has since passed away, but his daughter still volunteers and is also on the Family Council. “It’s so amazing there, and I can’t tell you what a difference it makes to have people who feel like family take care of your loved one,” Hultgren said. “It’s my way of giving back for all of that great care.”

Mille Lacs Health System CEO Bill Nelson said, “It’s important to take the time to celebrate and recognize all these volunteers’ efforts. We realize the integral role they play in advancing patient and resident engagement, and we’re thankful every day that they care enough to participate.”

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