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


~December 2013~

Oh no! Not another meeting


“Death by meeting,” now that’s a catch phrase.  How many of you have heard it, or even said it?  In an effort to be prudent stewards of your time (because there’s never enough time in the day), the challenge in determining if a meeting is necessary should be:

When should you have a meeting?  While there are a host of reasons, here are some common justifications to call a meeting.


  • You want or need information/advice from the group involved
  • You want to involve the group in solving a problem or making a decision
  • You want to build a sense of group identity and solidarity
  • There is an issue that needs to be clarified
  • You have concerns that need to be shared with the group as a whole
  • You wish to share information in a manner which provides more emphasis than in a written communication
  • There are conflicts or differences of opinions amongst group members that need to be brought to the surface
  • Timing of decisions requires a meeting at this point
  • There is a problem that involves people from different groups.

Before you jump in with both feet, consider the following.

In deference to everyone’s time, start and finish the meeting on time.  Assign a note taker and timekeeper.  Provide the context for the meeting at the beginning and stay on task.

Next month…..helpful hints to manage the discussion.

“Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we're here for something else besides ourselves."
~ Eric Servareid(1912-1992), American newscaster. ”

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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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