Showing up for our communities: HCA Healthcare ‘super volunteers’ are making a positive impact
During Global Volunteer Month this April, we are inspired to highlight the ways HCA Healthcare colleagues are taking action to build stronger, more vibrant communities through volunteerism. Despite hurdles presented by the pandemic last year, the commitment and creativity of our colleagues to support their communities never wavered. Across our organization, colleagues showed up for causes near to their hearts, logging more than 99,600 volunteer hours and donating $17 million with HCA Healthcare matching to nonprofit organizations in 2021. Overall, more than 5,600 charitable organizations were supported through our donations and volunteering.
Inspiration honor roll
Research from Points of Light shows that 87% of Americans will make time for a worthwhile volunteer opportunity. That is certainly the case for HCA Healthcare colleagues, who have logged an impressive 925,000+ hours of volunteer time since we began tracking these efforts in 2015. Since that time, more than 15,000 HCA Healthcare volunteers have supported 7,200 nonprofits.
This month, we’re proud to share a few stories of inspiration, dedication and compassion demonstrated by colleagues leveraging people-powered change to make a positive impact in their communities. We connected with three colleagues to learn more about their motivation for volunteering and why HCA Healthcare’s commitment to the community is so important.
Neil Moore – making a paws-itive impact on his community
For Parkland Medical Center Trauma Nurse Neil Moore, MSL, BSN, RN, TCRN, falling in love with his volunteer duties is just part of the gig. In 2021, Neil volunteered 560 hours with PAWS New England, a nonprofit organization that rescues abandoned, neglected and abused dogs, provides veterinary care and much needed TLC and places them in safe, loving homes to await adoption.
Neil has welcomed canine guests of all shapes and sizes into his home, which he shares with a foster dog he ended up adopting. Neil typically cares for his fosters for two months until they’re adopted, by which point he says it’s “hard not to love them.” He was motivated to foster dogs after volunteering at a shelter with a high euthanasia rate.
Neil has served at Parkland Medical Center in Derry, New Hampshire for five years, witnessing firsthand what it feels like to be on the receiving end of community support.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, he recalls the hospital received care packages from multiple organizations in the community, making them feel valued at a time when stress and doubt were high in the healthcare field. “It is important for me to be able to give something back to the community, so they can see how much we value them, too,” Neil added.
Fostering isn’t the only way Neil supports his community. He is also a member of several community committees, including the South Central Public Health Network, New Hampshire Falls Taskforce, and New Hampshire Seatbelt Coalition.
He regularly volunteers at local community events, and for the last five years, he has also been busy with Stop the Bleed trainings around the state of New Hampshire. “As a trauma nurse, this is something that I enjoy teaching and will always accept requests to do so.”
Neil appreciates the value HCA Healthcare places on community service, sharing that “it promotes a sense of belonging and emphasizes how important what we do is, both at work and home. It encourages me to want to do more, and gives me a sense of community.”
Lonette Janes – believes giving back makes her a better person and a better nurse
Austin Heart Round Rock registered nurse Lonette Janes doesn’t think of volunteering as work, but as great fun, explaining that “when you’re involved in your community, you realize there’s more than just what’s in front of you, and you get to appreciate the experiences of other people.”
This wonderful spirit of community engagement resulted in nearly 250 hours of donated time by Lonette last year. She spreads her time across several organizations, volunteering with the community choir organization at a local high school and serving on their board, and also volunteers with a religious organization, a non-profit medical clinic, a nonprofit that provides hand-made blankets to children in need called Project Linus, and a nonprofit which nurtures children and strengthens families through counseling, family support, fatherhood, foster care and family preservation called STARRY. She also finds time to support other organizations through project-based volunteering.
It’s clear to anyone engaging with Lonette that volunteering is an integral part of her life. “I LOVE it. It’s part of who I am,” she explains with a smile.
As a nurse, Lonette appreciates how HCA Healthcare makes it easy to support local organizations. “HCA Healthcare has a mission statement, and part of the mission statement talks about human life, and it also talks about affirming the uniqueness of each individual. I think by serving outside in the community, I’m able to see that, appreciate that, and better fulfill that mission both as an HCA Healthcare colleague and for myself. I want to give back to my community; I want to give what I have to others and take what they can give to me, and we become stronger together.”
Lonette is grateful for HCA Healthcare’s easy system for tracking volunteer hours and generosity giving back to the communities where our colleagues live and work. “When you donate money, all you have to do is submit that information to HCA Healthcare and they’ll match up to a certain amount to the same organizations. But also, when you donate your time, for every so many hours, they’ll donate hundreds of dollars to the nonprofit of your choice. That is a great opportunity for you to give additional resources to the charities that you’re passionate about – which is why I did it!”
Jonathan Alexander – bettering his community one dog and one life at a time
Gulf Coast Division HealthTrust Supply Chain Solutions Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Alexander is also a canine foster dad. During his free time, Jonathan supports Southeastern Guide Dogs, an organization that transforms lives by creating and nurturing partnerships between people and dogs through breeding, raising and training skilled guide, service and companion dogs for people with vision loss, veterans with disabilities and children with significant challenges.
Jonathan serves HCA Healthcare’s Gulf Coast Division, leading the HealthTrust supply chain engine that supports our network of facilities in Houston and South Texas. He has a passion for giving back to his community and donated nearly 2,200 hours of his time last year. After surviving Hurricane Harvey in 2017, Jonathan was grateful for the support of his community and inspired to start volunteering.
Jonathan has supported Southeastern Guide Dogs for many years, welcoming over twenty puppies and dogs into the home he shares with his wife and two kids. He provides his four-legged fosters with social and etiquette training before the puppies head off for extensive training and then transition to serving as a guide, bringing comfort and protection to their forever person.
Through his volunteerism, Jonathan shared that he sees “the dogs changing lives to provide freedom and love to their owners.”
Find your next volunteer opportunity
Inspired to take action? In its research study exploring the state of American civic engagement, the Points of Light Foundation found that 82% of people surveyed agreed that “we must all get involved to rebuild our communities and country” post-COVID-19. The foundation’s online searchable database features hundreds of thousands of volunteer opportunities and is an excellent resource for HCA Healthcare colleagues and their families and teams to find meaningful volunteer opportunities.
Colleagues can double their impact by logging volunteer hours on YourCause. For every 10 hours of recorded volunteer service (up to 50 hours a year), colleagues will receive a $200 Care Card, a virtual gift card that can be donated to any U.S. public charity or school. Colleagues donating their time by serving as board members for nonprofit organizations can also earn Care Cards for those organizations.
Community service is a foundational aspect of HCA Healthcare’s core values and our commitment to building healthier tomorrows. We are proud to support this spirit of engagement and deeply thankful to Neil, Lonette, Jonathan and all of the volunteers across our enterprise who continue to give their time and talents.
How to become a hospital volunteer
Did you know? Volunteers are a vital part of HCA Healthcare’s hospitals and can make a real difference in the lives of patients, their family members and even colleagues.
Because volunteers work closely with patients, they are required to have a criminal background check and get an annual TB screening. You’ll also need to be vaccinated for flu, measles, chicken pox, tetanus, diphtheria and whopping cough. If that sounds like a lot of shots, keep in mind that some of these are combination vaccines.
HCA Healthcare hospitals offer multiple volunteer opportunities for individuals with different talents. Not sure which volunteer job is best for you? Here’s a sampling of places to help (though hospital needs may vary):
- Delivering mail to patient rooms
- Providing clerical and office support
- Visiting patients with pets (certification required)
- Rocking babies in the NICU
- Answering questions or visiting with families in the surgery waiting room
- Giving directions and answering questions at the information desk”
If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer, visit your local hospital’s website or call the information desk to learn how to apply.
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About HCA Healthcare
HCA Healthcare, one of the nation's leading providers of healthcare services, is comprised of 182 hospitals and more than 2,300 sites of care, in 20 states and the United Kingdom. Our more than 283,000 colleagues are connected by a single purpose — to give patients healthier tomorrows.
As an enterprise, we recognize the significant responsibility we have as a leading healthcare provider within each of the communities we serve, as well as the opportunity we have to improve the lives of the patients for whom we are entrusted to care. Through the compassion, knowledge and skill of our caregivers, and our ability to leverage our scale and innovative capabilities, HCA Healthcare is in a unique position to play a leading role in the transformation of care.