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This page is devoted to the management of volunteer programs in health care settings.


~October 2011~

What Are You Afraid Of?


I recently had the opportunity to attend the annual AHVRP conference this year.  One of the wonderful benefits of any local DOVIA membership is the networking that happens when members gather for an area meeting or a conference.  It’s always good to “check-in” with others to see how they are handling common issues around dealing with volunteers.  So it was no surprise to those of us in attendance that this conference would be good.  maslow hierarchy


One of the best sessions I attended was conducted by Colleen Sweeney from the South Bend, Indiana area.  Her session, titled “What Patients Fear and Why We Need to Know,” focused on customer service.  With HCAPHS and Value Based Purchasing confronting all hospitals, Colleen’s session approached customer service from a new angle.  Patients come to our facilities with fear, all different kinds of fear, some real and some unfounded, but still very real to the patient.  The premise behind the session is that healthcare organizations need to understand the patient’s fears, do everything possible to dispel the fears, resulting in better outcomes for the patient, and the patient will have an exceptional experience in the process

Just as we understand Maslow’s Theory of Motivation (as illustrated here), Colleen believes that this concept can be transitioned to healthcare.  Thus the pyramid for healthcare may look something like this.   The question then becomes “What can each one of us do to meet any of these needs?”  Meeting and maslow adapted potentially exceeding these needs result in the patient having an exceptional experience.   Consequently, HCAPHS and Value Based Purchasing scores will result in positive impact for the organization.





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The author of the Heath Care Volunteer Programs column is Mary Kay Hood MS, Hendricks Regional Health, Danville, IN (317) 745-3556. With a BS degree in biology from Marian College and a Master of Science in Management from Indiana Wesleyan University, Mary Kay has been involved in volunteer management over twenty years with a zoo and in the health care field. During that time, she completed the Management of Volunteer Programs course offered at University of Indianapolis, several supervisory training programs as well as the Indiana Hospital and Health Association’s Management Institute offered by the Executive Education Program, School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University. Mary Kay served on the Nonprofit Training Center of United Way from 1993 to 2006. During that time, she taught many workshops also facilitating speaker arrangements for the Basic Volunteer Management series. Additionally, she has presented at various national and international conferences. Mary Kay served as president of the Central Indiana Association for Volunteer Administration (CIAVA) from 1993-1997 and the Indiana Society of Directors of Volunteer Services (ISDVS) from 2006-2008. She was also the recipient of the 1995 Outstanding Director of Volunteer Services Award and the 2002 United Way of Central Indiana Volunteer of the Year Award. Most recently she served on the Steering Committee for COVAA resulting in the formation of a new national membership organization for those in volunteer management, the Association of Leaders in Volunteer Engagement (AL!VE). With several published articles, she is also author to two books: The One Minute Answer to Volunteer Management Questions and The Volunteer Leader as Change Agent.

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