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Michigan HealthCare Volunteer Resource Professionals
March/April 2014
MHVRP Newsletter
In This Issue
Message from the President
MHA Legislative Update
MHVRP Spring Conference
You Really CAN Teach Old Dogs New Tricks!
MHVRP Spring Conference
"Like" MHVRP?

 Message from the President

by Linda Smith, President



"Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore." Andre Gide


I think the above quote truly captures the world we live in as managers of volunteers.  If we stay safe and continue to do what we have always done, we won't discover  the new opportunities that await us and we won't continue to grow as leaders.


Six years ago, I was told that my position of volunteer manager was being eliminated.  I had worked for that particular health system for 20 years. I didn't know what I was going to do.  In my mind, I had envisioned staying where I was and doing what I was doing until I retired.  That was no longer an option.  I was convinced that no one would hire a woman of my age at the salary I was receiving.  I didn't even know how to go about searching for a new job. 


It wasn't an easy journey, but five months into my job hunt, I received three job offers in the same week.  I decided to take the job at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital.  My job at Henry Ford has been the highlight of my entire career in volunteer management.  I have been pushed to do things I have never done before, I have been encouraged to utilize volunteers in new ways, and I have been challenged to manage volunteers in a leaner and more efficient manner while improving the quality of the volunteer experience.  In addition, I was given the opportunity to become active in MHVRP again. 


I feel so fortunate that I have the opportunity to participate in MHVRP. Our educational programs are outstanding, with nationally recognized experts in volunteer management. I hope that you will speak to your supervisor and explain the importance of attending our spring conference.  I have heard Richard Lynch speak before. I know he will have creative ideas that can be applied to your volunteer program immediately upon your return.


MHVRP has given me the opportunity to meet so many talented volunteer managers and to learn what others are doing through Google Groups.  I have had the opportunity to serve as your president this year.  Being a part of the board is another opportunity to learn and grow. I hope you will consider this opportunity for yourself in the next year.  Finally, this organization has truly given me the courage to lose sight of the shore and discover new oceans.  The YouTube video below has a powerful message for each of us as we embark on our journey of life.  It is entitled  "12 Things to Remember" from Sonia Ricotti.



MHA Legislative Update

by Stacey Dowdy, Manager, Health PAC & Grassroots Advocacy 



Gov. Rick Snyder presented his fiscal year (FY) 2015 executive budget recommendation to the state legislature, which included funding for the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH). The governor maintained support for the Healthy Michigan plan, recommending investing more than $1.5 billion in federal funds and more than $70 million in state funds to administer the program that will ultimately provide healthcare coverage for more than 400,000 uninsured citizens. Despite support for the Healthy Michigan plan, the MHA is disappointed that nearly $36 million in funding for the rural hospital access pool is not included in the executive budget recommendation. In addition, proposed graduate medical education (GME) funding in FY 2015 has been reduced from last year's levels by $4.3 million. The governor also proposed new funds dedicated to mental health and senior services. Snyder asked the legislature to complete its work on all FY 2015 state department budgets by June 1.


House Speaker Jase Bolger (R-Marshall) announced his proposal to drastically alter Michigan's auto insurance system. Promoted as an attempt to lower consumer auto insurance premiums, the proposal would permanently reduce healthcare coverage for catastrophically-injured auto accident survivors in exchange for a two-year, 10 percent reduction in auto insurance rates. The MHA opposes the latest proposal, which would permanently cap the benefit at $10 million, impose a government-mandated fee schedule that would limit payments to healthcare providers to 125 percent of workers' compensation rates (if insurance companies pay within 30 days), and impose underlying caps on benefits such as attendant care and physical therapy. Since 1973, Michigan's auto no-fault insurance law has ensured needed medical and rehabilitation benefits for people injured in auto accidents, without the time and costs associated with pursuing relief through costly lawsuits. In response to Bolger's proposal, the MHA and the Coalition Protecting Auto No-fault (CPAN) issued media statements criticizing the latest attempt to change the popular system that provides needed services to critically injured auto accident victims.


For more information about the MHA's Advocacy efforts, such as bill tracking or a brief advocacy overview, visit the MHA website.



MHVRP Spring Conference

by Melissa Sherry, CAVS, Education Chair



May 14-16 are the dates for our MHVRP spring conference. We are excited about securing the Bavarian Inn in Frankenmuth, Michigan, as our conference event site, and having nationally-known speaker and author Richard Lynch join us. The conference materials are available at www.mhvrp.org.


On May 15, we will host a vendor fair, and if you are aware of potential vendors who would like to participate, please contact Donna Martorano at dmartorano@miblood.org. To review a complete list of our sponsor vendors from 2013, please refer to the MHVRP website.


As always, we strive to provide our members with a valuable education experience with both our spring conference and fall education day.



You Really CAN Teach Old Dogs New Tricks!

by Karen Van Cura, Secretary



Shortly after I started as DVS at Genesys, we hired a new EverGreen (greenhouse) Manager who is responsible for running the greenhouse business, including a retail plant cart in the hospital atrium. Historically, the plant cart was run (successfully) with an "internal" inventory system (e.g., internal inside the head of the previous manager!) and a circa 1980 cash register. (I think I used a similar model in my first job...does that make me vintage?) It became clear that we needed to have a new Point of Sale system that would keep inventory records as well as provide comprehensive sales reporting for the EverGreen.   We decided on an iPad with SquareR payment processing/reporting. We were hesitant about this newer technology, relative to our somewhat older demographic of volunteers who worked at the cart. And yes, they were afraid...and to be honest, so were we. To mitigate some of the fear, we did a few things:

  • Engaged one of the "younger" volunteers, who connects easily with her peers, to design and conduct the training
  • Gave our trainer the iPad so that she could experiment and learn it prior to developing the training program
  • Conducted one-on-one training sessions with each volunteer (peer-to-peer)
  • Provided handouts and cheat sheets as reference tools
  • Posted help tips near the iPad
  • Purchased a cash box that, when combined with the iPad, mimicked the look of a cash register
  • Recruited a few new volunteers for the cart who were comfortable with iPad technology
  • Partnered strong volunteers with less confident volunteers on each shift so that everyone felt "safe"
  • Ensured that someone is always available as back-up for problems (Volunteer Service staff)
  • Asked for feedback along the way to encourage engagement so that we could continue to improve the process


It's been about nine months now, and I'm happy to say that we only had a few volunteers who bowed out because of the iPad. Most were eager to learn a new skill, particularly when we reminded them that they were learning a technology that their grand-kids use all the time. That iPad has been put through its paces, for sure -- accidentally turned off, apps deleted, fingers forcefully pounded on it (no concept of "touch" screen) and a lot of "I don't know what happened!" while volunteers stood over our shoulder, still pressing buttons randomly. But we have reached a nice level of acceptance from our volunteers, and we now have the inventory and reporting functions we were missing. As I get older, I know I will inevitably feel some level of dread when change comes calling (it already happens). I hope that the young pups running things then will be thoughtful in how they convince this old dog to learn something new!



Seeking Regional Meeting Facilitators

by Kathy Zaguroli, Professional Development



Are you interested in hosting an MHVRP Regional Meeting at your hospital this summer?  Your responsibilities are to reserve space at your facility, communicate with the Professional Development Chair regarding date, time and if munchies will be provided.  In addition, you will facilitate conversation regarding volunteer leadership topics and report back the general discussions.  It's a fun and easy way to be involved with MHVRP.  I am looking for leaders representing various regions across Michigan.  If you are interested, please contact Kathy Zaguroli at 248-849-8806 or email Kathleen.zaguroli@stjohn.org.

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Save the Date


MHVRP Spring Conference

May 14-16, 2014

Bavarian Inn

1 Covered Bridge Lane

Frankenmuth, MI 48734


Welcome, New Members 



Hayley Scott

HR Coordinator

Mary Free Bed Rehab Hospital

235 Wealthy

Grand Rapids, MI  49503

Phone: 616-493-9752



Lisa Halfmann

HR Coordinator

Southwest Regional Rehabilitation Center

393 Roosevelt Ave. E

Battle Creek, MI 49017

Phone: 269-441-4120



David "Wade" Burge

Volunteer Services Coordinator

Clark Retirement Community

1551 Franklin St. SE

Grand Rapids, MI  49506

Phone: 616-452-1568



Krista Silver

Volunteer Coordinator

VitalCare Hospice of Little Traverse Bay

1 Hiland Dr.

Petoskey, MI  49770

Phone: 231-627-2031 ext. 2151



Alan Neushwander

Volunteer Coordinator

Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital

One Atkinson Dr.

Ludington, MI  49431

Phone: 231-845-3680



Stacey Charron

Volunteer Coordinator

Pine Rest Christian Mental Health

300 68th Street. SE

Grand Rapids, MI  49501

Phone: 616.281.6363 ext. 2935



 Darlene Wilson

Manager, Volunteer Services

St. Joseph Mercy Health System

5301 East Huron River Drive

Ann Arbor, MI  48106

Phone: 734.712.4164



Daniela Dimovski

Supervisor, Volunteer Services

McLaren Macomb

1000 Harrington Blvd.

Mt. Clemens, MI  48043

Phone: 586.493.3320



Heather O'Brien

Director of Volunteer & Bereavement Services

Emmanuel Hospice

2161 Leonard Street NW

Grand Rapids, MI  49504           

Phone: 616.719.0919



2013 - 2014






Education Chair


Education Co-Chair 

Membership Chair


Professional Development
Newsletter Chair


Penny Brown

Community Resources


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