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Employee volunteers reap double rewards

  • Owatonna Hospital employees are passionate about helping people while on the job - and many enjoy giving back during their free time as well.

    Allina Health supports employees with its Dollars for Doers program. For every 20 hours of volunteer time an employee logs into Volunteer Match, an online volunteer tracking program, Allina Health donates $100 to the nonprofit of his or her choice.

    Natalie Ginter, the hospital's Foundation and Community Engagement director, said that Dollars for Doers is continuing the Allina Health mission of working with community partners to improve the health of people in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. "Supporting employee volunteers is a continuation of that," she said.

    Big Brothers Big Sisters

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    "This is a way to be able to give that isn't just financial. There's meaning behind it," said Brage, an Owatonna resident. In his work at the hospital, he sees "how many people out there need help," he said. Brage believes Big Brothers Big Sisters is a terrific program that helps mentor young people.


    Bringing comfort

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    Mary Jacobsen, Mental Health manager at Owatonna Hospital, does her part right in the hospital. Jacobsen and her 8-year-old granddaughter, Buffy, began making cozy blankets for pediatric inpatients in the Med-Surg and Special Care Units. The small project morphed into something much larger; the cute blankets made their way to other departments, serving those having a hard time being in the hospital. "This project started as a way to make the hospital more kid-friendly," said Jacobsen. "Now, it's a way to offer comfort and bring a smile to the patients' faces when they aren't feeling well or are afraid about being here. Plus, it's something my granddaughter and I can do together."

  • Source: Healthy Communities Magazine, winter 2014
    Reviewed by: Natalie Ginter, Foundation and Community Engagement director, Owatonna Hospital
    First published: 11/04/2013
    Last reviewed: 11/04/2013