Hospital owes its health to volunteers

Volunteers/Where good neighbors get together

December 17, 1991|By Ellen Hawks | Ellen Hawks,Evening Sun Staff

VOLUNTEERS to the Carroll County General Hospital -- approximately 160 of them -- ''serve in virtually every area of the hospital,'' says Linda Harder, vice president for planning and marketing who also discusses volunteer opportunities with those who are interested.

Volunteers work at the admissions desk, are aides to patients being discharged, do clerical work, plan and present fund-raisers and much more.

And there is a new service at the hospital, headed by volunteer Gladys Smith, who explains, ''It is a surgical coordinating committee, a liaison between the operating room, recovery room and the families who are waiting. It is working perfectly.'' Smith has volunteered to the hospital for 12 years and also helps on the information desk.

A widow, Smith is retired from the Social Security Administration, has two daughters, two granddaughters and one great-granddaughter. She lives in Westminster and also volunteers in the St. John's Soup Kitchen in the Ascension Episcopal Church in Westminster, ''doing whatever is necessary. When I retired," she explains, "I found there was a need for these things so I jumped in to help.''

In the 1950s, Carroll County residents in the Westminster area felt the need for a quality hospital closer to their homes. The community rallied and residents responded with money, time and support. The Carroll County General Hospital opened in 1961.

Today, the 148-bed not-for-profit general hospital has expanded its technology, established a medical staff of more than 200 physicians and offers services that include sophisticated diagnostic equipment, advanced surgical, mother and child care, cardiology and vascular, psychiatric care, sports medicine and pain management.

Volunteers play an important role and are very welcome at the hospital. Smith believes that people who volunteer thoroughly enjoy donating their time. ''Often they are helping people who might also have helped them through the years," she says. "There is so much need right now, plus volunteering helps both.''

To discuss volunteering at the Carroll County General Hospital, 200 Memorial Ave., in Westminster, call Linda Harder at 876-3000 (a local call from Baltimore) or 848-3000, Ext. 6979, in Westminster.

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