Four Volunteer Stories
Deloris Bell – An Advocate for Hurley
When you first meet Deloris Bell, it only takes a brief time to realize that she is an advocate for Hurley. In fact, her commitment is so strong that a year ago she convinced Whisper Miller, her 17-year-old granddaughter, to begin volunteering at Hurley.
While still completing her 32½ year career with General Motors, Deloris began volunteering at Hurley in 2004. She will tell you that the reason she became a Hurley volunteer is because of the wonderful care she received from Hurley staff each time she was a Medical Center patient. As a patient, her reliance on the Auxiliary Goodie Cart for snacks and reading material lead to a desire to volunteer for that position when she became a member of the Auxiliary.
After retiring in 2008, Deloris did get that role on the Goodie Cart. During that experience she noticed how the Hurley Lobby Shop provided a valuable service to Hurley visitors. Today you can find Deloris volunteering multiple shifts each week in the Lobby Shop.
In her busy lifestyle, Deloris is very active in her church and an avid bowler, and readily admits that travel is her favorite pastime. Deloris shares that the Hurley staff is like family and that she loves keeping busy and making a difference at Hurley.
Hurley’s Auxiliary has made a $500,000 pledge towards the new Paul F. Reinhart Emergency Trauma Center made possible from the profits of the Lobby Shop and fundraising activities. Now that the new Hurley Lobby Shop is open, you can expect to find Deloris volunteering her time and talent there for the benefit of Hurley!
Kathy Hayes – A Continuing Commitment to Hurley
Upon retiring from Hurley Medical Center after 30 years of service, Kathy Hayes came back, this time as a volunteer. As a member of the Hurley staff family, Kathy contributed 17 years as a registered nurse in the Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and an additional 13 years as an accountant in the Finance Department.
During her Hurley career, Kathy saw firsthand the service that volunteers provide for patients, visitors and staff. This is the reason she become an Auxiliary volunteer in 2003. Realizing the importance of keeping families well-informed, Kathy chose to volunteer in the Surgical Lounge where every week you will find her providing information and comforting reassurance to family members.
In addition to her volunteer activity, Kathy contributes her time and talents to the Hurley Retiree Association and the Michigan Association of Hospital Advocates. When not contributing to Hurley, Kathy is involved with her church, including the church choir, and enjoys reading, running and needle work. As a proud grandparent, Kathy’s favorite activity when away from Hurley is spending quality time with her four grandchildren.
At Hurley we believe that so many retired employees return as volunteers speaks very highly about our hospital and the dedication of our staff.
Thank you Kathy for your recommitment to Hurley during your retirement through the Hurley Auxiliary!
Jack Burton – Committed to Helping Others
Jack Burton has always loved helping people. After retiring from a successful career at General Motors, Jack contacted Hurley's Emergency Department to seek out volunteer opportunities. Twenty-two years later, he's still here, reaching out to families in crisis.
Jack serves as liaison between the Hurley staff and patients' families, volunteering between four to five days per week. He helps prepare rooms for new patients and helps make their families and friends feel more at home by assisting with everything from coordinating phone calls to delivering refreshments.He has an uncanny knack for keeping spirits up—sometimes joking with visitors by asking them if they want juice. "When they ask what kind is available, I tell them 'All we have is prune!’"
"Some people need a smile to relieve the stress while they are in the emergency department," says Jack. "They are going through such a tough time. Sometimes they want to talk. Sometimes they want a hug. And sometimes, people just need someone to sit quietly by their side." Hurley once offered Jack a paying job, but he refused. "It would have taken the fun out of helping others," he recalls.
Many times, you'll see Jack waiting with an elderly person while their loved one is being treated in the emergency department. He always stays for as long as the person needs him. When the new Paul F. Reinhart Emergency Trauma Center opens its doors, you can bet Jack will be there, ready to greet the first visitor.
Auxiliary Counselor Thelma Watson and her fellow Auxilians are helping make the Emergency Department Expansion possible.
Thelma Watson's Hurley story began in the fall of 1955. As a dedicated Hurley employee, she spent 18 years sharing her talents in various roles, from the Admitting Office and Credit Department to Medical Records and X-ray, only once stepping away due to the required maternity policy at the time. A career-oriented individual, many thought Thelma would never leave, but after nearly two decades of service, General Motors made an offer she couldn't refuse. In true Thelma Watson style, she remained a dedicated employee of GM for an additional 26 years, retiring from the Benefits Department of Regional Personnel in January 2000.
In October 2002, Thelma came home, returning to Hurley in a volunteer role. Then in 2003, she joined the Auxiliary. After serving as Vice President and most recently as Editor of the Auxiliary Newsletter, today Thelma serves as Auxiliary President. She volunteers in the Hurley Surgical Lounge and her positive attitude and ready smile make all the difference for Hurley visitors. Recently, she presided over a generous donation that will make all the difference to Hurley patients in need.
The Hurley Medical Center Auxiliary recently announced a $500,000 gift to help build the Paul F. Reinhart Emergency Trauma Center. Thelma couldn't be happier about this latest opportunity to give back to Hurley and the community. "Hurley has been good to me," says Thelma. "And like all the Auxilians, I feel at home here. We believe in Hurley's mission and that is why we volunteer and raise money for Hurley's services."
Married to Richard Watson, Thelma is the proud parent of three adult children and four grandchildren. In addition to her Auxiliary service and spending time with her family, she keeps busy with daily Scripture reading, attending weekday Mass, serving as an Election Inspector, and volunteering on several school and parish boards.
Thank you Thelma, and all our Auxiliary members, for all you do!