Last week the Hospital honored our Volunteers by hosting a great luncheon and program at the Candlelight Pavilion. I was honored to attend, as my husband has been a Volunteer (he drives the shuttle) for over a year now. I’ve always been lucky to have wonderful Volunteers help me out at events and for special projects – so I know how valuable they are!
I learned that over 900 Volunteers donated over 91,000 hours to the Hospital in 2011! Can you believe that??? Some other fun facts I learned: 20,000 newspapers were delivered to patients last year by Volunteers; our Junior Volunteers helped patients with 17,000 meal selection cards; and that same number of Volunteers have served over 25 years and have over 10,000 hours! What dedication is shown by these giving people on a daily basis!
It’s a time honored tradition to make resolutions as we begin another year. Usually taking better care of your health is high on the resolution list - eating better, losing weight, more exercise, we know the drill! The fact of the matter is that very few people actually manage to make a permanent change to a healthier lifestyle. There are those who don’t need to make changes, because they are already doing all the things the rest of us know we should be doing!
We are in the business of “health care” and we encourage everyone to live a healthy lifestyle. The reality is at any given time there are patients here who have not made healthy choices and are now battling to regain their health. Many of our Associates are very health conscious, but there are some who are so busy taking care of other people that they don’t take the time to care for themselves.
There are “awareness” months for cancer and other diseases, but November brings awareness to the caregivers – those who tend to the needs of their loved ones who are ill and unable to care for themselves.
Sometimes medical professionals are called caregivers, but I’m not referring to them in this post. Caregiver Awareness Month is dedicated to those loving people who do anything from running the occasional errand or cooking a meal to the 24/7 handling of a person in need of assistance. Caregivers put someone else’s needs before their own. It can be heart-warming to give to those you love, but it can also be an overwhelming responsibility.
I mention this because we all know someone who is going through or has gone through the struggle of having breast cancer. This awareness month reminds us of just how many people have coped with this disease that research is trying to understand in order to save more lives. Like my co-worker said: “Cancer is not for sissies.” Chemotherapy, although much improved in the last 15 years, is still a grueling process that knocks most people flat for a few days. By the time they begin to feel better, it is time for another dose of chemotherapy! It is not an easy thing to go through.
Beginning on September 3rd and going through October 2nd we will be at the LA County Fair at the “Our Body” exhibit. You will see actual bodies that have been preserved by using a special plastic solution allowing you the unique educational opportunity to see the inside of a body. Even if you have already seen this fantastic exhibit, plan to see it again! We are partnering with Inter Valley Health Plan and Western University of Health Sciences to bring a “Live Healthy” component to the exhibit this year. Even if you went last year plan on attending again, as the exhibit has new bodies and different organs/systems than were displayed last year.
There will be lots of “Did You Know” facts throughout the exhibit and on many of the days, physicians will be available to talk to you and further explain about the bodies and the individual sections/parts. Physicians and other health care professionals will be speaking on a variety of topics at different times. There will also be a video screen showing “MicroWorld” clips (why our bodies work they way they do) when a speaker isn’t available. There will be so many interesting things to see and a wealth of knowledge to be gained by visiting this exhibit.
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