In 1977—a year before the lake area's only hospital opened its doors—an extraordinary group of men and women recognized the community's need to support quality health care and formed the Lake of the Ozarks General Hospital Auxiliary.
Today, the Lake Regional Hospital Auxiliary boasts more than 350 enthusiastic, good-hearted members of all ages. These volunteers earned recognition as a 2018 Auxiliary of the Year from the Missouri Association of Hospital Auxiliaries.
Auxilians are a diverse group comprised of retirees, active businesspeople and others. They volunteer in a variety of activities that fit their special talents and interests, including staffing a gift shop at Lake Regional Health System. They also assist with the Auxiliary's hospital ball, held each October.
“Volunteers support Lake Regional in countless ways, and we thank them for caring so deeply about our mission,” said Dane W. Henry, FACHE, chief executive officer of Lake Regional Health System. “Through kindness and generosity, our volunteers lift spirits and contribute to the healing work of our hospital. They remind us all of the good we can do when we focus our lives on others.”
Benefits and Dues
Auxilians receive access to select hospital programs, recognition awards and the Mile Marker newsletter. They also have the satisfaction of knowing they're making a significant contribution to the quality of health care in their community.
Yearly Auxiliary dues are $5 per person or $8 per couple. Lifetime dues are $100 per person or $150 per couple. Lifetime dues go to the Ethel Rayburn Nursing/Health Care Scholarship Fund, which awards annual scholarships to employees who are pursuing a nursing career.
Civic-minded high school students ages 14 to 18 who are interested in making a difference in their community are encouraged to participate in Lake Regional Health System's Junior Volunteer Program. Junior volunteers assist staff with basic manual tasks on patient floors and in other hospital departments as assigned.
Junior volunteers will receive service pins and certificates upon completion of 50 hours of service. Also, deserving volunteers often receive letters of recommendation to accompany their college applications.
The goal of hospice is to provide the highest quality of life possible while managing symptoms, such as pain, fatigue and shortness of breath. Volunteers help patients by assisting with a variety of tasks,such as providing companionship, running errands, assisting with light housework and meals, and providing respite for caregivers.
Hospice volunteers receive the same orientation as other hospital volunteers, plus a separate hospice volunteer orientation. This second orientation provides training in understanding grief and bereavement, the dying process, communication techniques, hospice regulations and other hospice-specific topics.
Once actively serving, hospice volunteers report to Jill Wilke, director of Lake Regional Palliative Care, Home Health and Hospice, and are a part of the care team, consulting with the nurses, social worker, chaplain and therapists. Volunteers are reimbursed for mileage.
All junior and adult volunteers must complete orientation before beginning work at Lake Regional Health System.