Greeter program started at Meadow Lake hospital

By Terry Villeneuve

After two years in the planning, a new greeter volunteer program has started at the Meadow Lake hospital as of June 6.

“It’s a program that people from the community will be assisting in a hospital setting with admissions, discharges, delivery of flowers and patient information among other things,” said Darlene Kingwell, regional manager of volunteer services for Prairie North Health Region.

Last Wednesday five local people attended a luncheon which included an overview of what the program offers.

Shirley Kuffert was one such person who is looking to do more volunteer work in the community.

“I’m retired and worked for the health district for many years at the Pioneer Lodge,” she said. “I have been doing some volunteering – I helped with the flu clinic and meals on wheels.”

Kingwell says the greeter program has been going for seven years in North Battleford and three in Lloydminster. The premise of the program is to enhance the health care experience.

“It reduces the stress that people experience when they are coming to get health care services,” she said.

Kingwell also noted that it is also helping out staff as well because they’re inundated a lot of times with a lot of different people coming at them.

“Not only are you able to help with admissions and discharge, but you’re enabling the staff to do what they’re paid to do, and that’s to look after the patient without someone coming onto the ward and coming up to the nursing station,” Kingwell added. “It helps all the systems, you’re not just a smiling face, but someone who is welcoming and one who is concerned.”

Due to the low number of volunteers to date, the program in Meadow Lake will be offered from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. until more volunteers can be found.

“We weren’t able to successfully have people for a full eight hours, but we will have one person per day and hopefully go to two,” said Joan Krause, coordinator for volunteer services in Meadow Lake.

“A pool of 20 people would be great to work with, but we had to get it going.”

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