Paving a Legacy of Service
The legacy of service can now be honored and memorialized through the Foundation’s Buy-A-Brick garden program.
Thomas Health volunteers serve an important role in helping not only The Foundation but our community hospitals run smoothly allowing doctors and nurses to spend their time focusing on providing the best healthcare for their patients. Volunteers assist hospital employees in caring for patients and visitors. They serve in a variety of roles and departments encompassing all skill sets.
Thomas Health Auxiliary volunteers are one of the greatest assets to the Foundation of the hospital system. “They are the extra hands and extra smiles” says Mary Williams, Director of Volunteer Services.
Ruby Brunner, an Auxiliary volunteer for 19 years, dedicates her time twice a week. Her husband was a patient at Thomas before his passing and she got to know the doctors, nurses and employees. “I wanted to give back something,” Brunner responded when asked why she chose to volunteer through the Thomas Auxiliary. “I get to get out and really help people,” Brunner said. And she has, through her 19 years of commitment to Thomas Memorial, Ruby has logged over 8,000 hours in service.
Kathryn Edelman, known for her quick wit and funny demeanor, served as a Thomas Auxiliary volunteer for over 35 years. Kathryn passed away in October 2016 at the age of 94. She dedicated her time to Thomas until nearly six weeks before she passed away. Though she is no longer with us, her spirit and legacy lives at Thomas Health.
These volunteers leave their legacies throughout the memories of not only their families but the doctors, nurses, employees, patients and visitors of Thomas Health. Often times when a volunteer, patient or loved one passes away family and friends will send flowers or a donation to the hospital. Making a Tribute gift through the Foundation by buying a brick is a way to honor their dedication permanently, providing a way for each brick to lovingly say “Thank You” forever. These bricks can also be purchased as a way to honor caregivers, a doctor, nurse or someone special as permanent commemoration of the gifts from our community. As a permanent memorial, the named bricks will embrace the tradition of giving for all.
With phase one of the garden complete and the Buy A Brick Tribute program beginning, Foundation donors will be kept informed of progress with a dedication being planned for later in 2017.
Debbie Armstrong, Service Line Director-Orthopedics
I am so thankful for the role that Saint Francis Hospital has played in many areas of my life but one in particular involves a special volunteer, Georgia Hamra. Georgia is my cousin and although we saw each other on occasion it was very irregular and at times a couple of years could go by without seeing each other. This all changed several years ago when Georgia became a volunteer at Saint Francis. Georgia’s first experience at Saint Francis hospital came about when she had knee replacement surgery there. It was such a good experience for her and she liked the hospital and the people so much that she decided to become a volunteer. It was at this point that we reconnected and began having lunch together at the hospital every Tuesday and this continued for several years. It wasn’t unusual for any of our children, or other family members to join us for lunch on Tuesdays. Our weekly lunches at Saint Francis became a special event in our lives that we all looked forward to, and it wasn’t long until our families became close and our time together extended outside of the weekly lunches at the hospital. It is a reconnection for which our families are so thankful and continues to this day.
Georgia passed away in April.