Friday, April 12, 2019

We are Grateful for Our Volunteers – National Volunteer Appreciation Week 2019

This week we are celebrating National Volunteer Appreciation Week and we are so grateful for all that our volunteers do to help us meet our mission of health, healing, and hope.

With more than 1,100 volunteers serving the hospital and Gilchrist, we have one of the largest volunteer auxiliaries in Maryland. Every day, our volunteers share their talents and spread kindness throughout our hospital. They are all accomplished members of our community and we couldn’t achieve our vision of providing to every patient, every time the care that we would want for our own loved ones without them. 

Over the last 50-plus years, our volunteers have donated approximately four MILLION hours of service and raised more than 25 million dollars to support patient care at GBMC!

So please, when you meet a GBMC or Gilchrist volunteer this week please take the time to say, “thank you” for all they do.

Donate Life Month

April is Donate Life Month, which brings awareness to the need for organ and tissue donors and honors those who have already donated. Earlier this month, I was privileged to be part of a very special ceremony at GBMC. We and The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland held a flag raising ceremony to honor the memory of donors as we celebrated their gifts of life to others.

Today is the National Donate Life Month Blue and Green Day. The goal is to bring awareness to the importance of organ, eye, and tissue donors and to celebrate those that have saved lives through their donations. I hope that you all wore blue and green!

Every ten minutes, a person in the United States is added to the national organ donation waiting list, which has approximately 114,000 people on it. One person’s donation can make a huge difference for the people on this list. A single tissue donor has the potential to improve the lives of 50 people and one organ donor can save up to eight lives!

Please remember that you have the power to save lives. April is the perfect time to register as a donor if you haven’t already. Those wishing to register as an organ, eye, and tissue donor can do so at the MVA or at

Helping our SAFE & DV program…
I want to thank everyone who participated in our fourth annual “Walk a Mile in Their Shoes” event. We had close to 500 participants and we raised more than $90,000 for our Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) and Domestic Violence (DV) program! Last Saturday, under beautiful sunny skies, participants walked a mile around GBMC’s campus to shed light on and show support for an extremely important issue for women and men of all ages. Click on the image (left) to watch a video summary of our event.

Registered nurses in GBMC’s SAFE program are specifically trained and certified by the Maryland Board of Nursing to provide care for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence of all ages in a confidential, non-judgmental atmosphere. At no cost to the patient, these nurses focus on empowering survivors to begin the healing process, in addition to working toward ending sexual assault and intimate partner violence in the community.

This year, our team decided to change the name of the event to “Walk A Mile in Their Shoes” to reflect that our healthcare system, and our SAFE and DV program, treats patients of all ages, genders, and ethnicities. When MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center’s pediatric program closed last year, GBMC immediately decided to create a child abuse team to fill the gap in services for children. It was the right thing to do. We couldn’t walk away from the need to care for and protect the most vulnerable segment of our population…children.

Prevention is key to putting an end to sexual assault and intimate partner violence. Our SAFE team has worked hard to expand across our healthcare system and into the community, and our primary care and emergency department teams have been trained on the signs of abuse and the steps to take when they see red flags.

The success of this year’s event would not be possible without the support of our generous sponsors, donors, and walkers. I was really impressed to see many of the football players from Stevenson University came out to support our program.

We understand the necessity of our Walk a Mile event and I am proud that GBMC continues to be a leader in helping the victims of sexual assault and domestic violence and in educating the community to reduce these attacks. I want to thank Dr. Fred Chan and Bonnie Stein and our committee members, along with the GBMC Philanthropy Department, Marketing Department, our Volunteer Auxiliary, and all parties, who worked together to make this year’s event another success!

We want to hear from our employees…
Every year, we ask our people to complete our Employee Engagement Survey. This year, the theme is Let's Get Better Together, and our goal is to have 80% (or more!) participation.

We need to know what you think to make the GBMC HealthCare system an even better place to work. We know we have the best employees at GBMC, Gilchrist, and GBMC Health Partners and we can't wait to hear your feedback!

Earlier this week, you should have received the survey link in your employee email. The survey is open through Monday, April 29, and it will only take a few minutes to complete. I ask that all our employees complete the survey. Please respond honestly, as the survey is completely CONFIDENTIAL. If you include additional comments, these will be shared with your manager, but your name will not be given.

Thank you for helping us make GBMC an even better employer. If you have any questions about the survey, please contact Angela Wilson,

Thank you so much for taking the survey.

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