04/20/17 — Wayne UNC Health Care names 2017 honoree

View Archive

Wayne UNC Health Care names 2017 honoree

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on April 20, 2017 10:13 AM


Elnora Newsome

Elnora Newsome has become quite adept at ducking photo opportunities, Donna Archer told the crowd at this year's volunteer recognition event for Wayne UNC Health Care.

She couldn't avoid having her picture taken, though, after being named the hospital's 2017 Volunteer of the Year.

Mrs. Newsome, a volunteer since February 1993, has become a staple in the hospital gift shop. She loves to sweep and restock, which is a big help to cashiers, especially during peak times at lunch, said Mrs. Archer, director of volunteer services and Sunshine Corner Manager.

"I cannot imagine walking into the gift shop on Thursdays and not seeing Miss Elnora," she said.

To date the recipient has given 3,465 hours to the organization and is considered dependable and consistent, Mrs. Archer said.

She also has a talent for knowing what people need, like a hug, she said.

At the annual recognition event, the hospital recognized the 13,463 hours contributed by volunteers during the 2016 calendar year.

The hospital currently has 100 adult volunteers, plus 30 high school students who serve during the summer.

"Volunteers and chaplains provide extra attention for our patients, visitors and teammates, (also known as) employees. Our volunteers provide their time and talents but most of all their hearts," Mrs. Archer said.

"The theme this year was 'Volunteers Make the World a Brighter Place.' Our volunteers certainly accomplish that goal every time they volunteer. They selflessly bring light to an experience (being in a hospital) which can be fearful and lonely."

In addition to being a support for the staff, patients and their families, there are things at the hospital that only volunteers are responsible for accomplishing, she said -- from delivering magazines and greeting cards to providing hair care and pet therapy, singing for patients and making handmade bears for children.

Another new role for volunteers in 2016 was the implementation of the Patient/Family Advisory Council. Former patients or family members serve on the committee to improve patient satisfaction.

Two other awards were handed out during the luncheon.

Emma Fennell received the Rosa Christian Koch customer service, presented to a volunteer who exemplifies the spirit of goodwill, courtesy and compassion.

Since she began volunteering in 1991, she has amassed 3,465 hours with the program.

"I cannot begin to calculate the number of families she has helped in the Day Surgery waiting room, where she faithfully serves every week," Mrs. Archer said. "Miss Emma has also helped us with several special projects over the years.

"She is always smiling, always positive and always willing to help."

The special recognition award was presented to Barbara Wright, who came on board in 2016 and serves in the admitting department. In that short amount of time, she has already donated 359 hours of service.

"'Even though Miss Barbara is a newcomer, she already is family to us. She is helpful, friendly, caring, compassionate and always has a smile and willingness to help our guest,'" Mrs. Archer read from Ms. Wright's nomination form.