(8/10/11) - McLeod Medical Center Dillon recently recognized twenty-two area teens for their participation in the 2011 Teen Summer Volunteer Program. A closing ceremony was held at McLeod Medical Center Dillon for the teens and their parents marking the 23rd anniversary of the program.
During their two-month summer vacations, the teens volunteered to work directly with hospital health care professionals for at least 20 hours per month gaining experience in a variety of health care occupations.
Estelle Ellis, Teen Volunteer Coordinator for the past eleven years, gave some brief information on the program's origin. "The volunteer program began in 1988 as an idea to interest high school teens in health care careers. Offering teens an opportunity for 'hands on' participation in a health care environment has always been the program's objective."
Debbie Locklair, Administrator of McLeod Medical Center Dillon, opened the ceremony with prayer and thanked the teens for sharing their summer with McLeod Dillon. Causey expressed her gratitude and appreciation for the 1257 hours of teen volunteer service to the hospital this summer. "I've been impressed with the hard work and involvement of this volunteer group. You are to be commended for sharing your time and talents. We hope you will remember this as a rewarding experience. I hope this experience has helped each of you decide if a career in health care is right for you. There are many opportunities in health care in both patient care areas and in business services. From experience, I can say that it's a rewarding career choice.
"McLeod Health offers many scholarships for the different health related careers available. And, when you've completed your education, remember that McLeod Health is always looking for bright, talented health care professionals."
The evening's special guest speaker was Lorin Bell. Lorin Bell, a native of Dillon County, graduated from Dillon Christian School in 2007.
While attending high school, Lorin participated in the Teen Volunteer Program at McLeod Dillon. She has also served as a volunteer for the American Red Cross and the Medical University of South Carolina.
Lorin recently received hr Biology Degree from the College of Charleston and is currently enrolled in the BSN program at Frances Marion University.
Ellis personally thanked the volunteers as they each received a certificate of appreciation. "This has been a great opportunity for the teens to receive hands-on experience in different areas of healthcare. While they are volunteering their time, they receive so much in return. It's also a win-win opportunity for McLeod Dillon. We not only receive the benefit of the help they provide us, but we also have a hand in positively shaping their lives.
"The teens worked in various areas of the hospital during the months of June and July, performing such tasks as transporting patients, answering phones, making patient charts, supporting outpatient department staff, assisting with marketing projects and a myriad of others. Last, but not least, they brought a lot of joy to our patients and the staff with their friendly smiles and greetings.
"This has been a great summer for all involved, we're sad that it's ended and look forward to next summer's group," said Ellis.
The list of teens honored along with the number of years each has volunteered in parentheses include: Shana Berry (2 Years), Morgan Cain (1 Year), Jocelin Campbell (1 Year), Bradley Coward (1 Year), Margaret Desser (1 Year), Jamesa Dunham (2 Years), Savannah Evans (1 Year), Braylan J. Ford (1 Year), Dallas Gardner (1 Year), Hayes Amber (1 Year), Kristin Ingram (1 Year), Anna Johnson (1 Year), Zare'ya Lewis (1 Year), Liana Legette (1 Year), Zipporah Lighty (2 Years), BriAnna McAllister (1 Year), Bryiana McCoy (4 Years), Miracle Murphy (1 Year), Ashley Nolan (1 Year), Ariel Pearson (3 Years), Katie Stoops (4 Years), and Dezirae' Wright (3 Years).
BriAnna McAllister, having 56.5 volunteer hours, and Kristin Ingram, having 54.25 volunteer hours, received a certificate of special recognition for most volunteer hours. A certificate of excellence was presented to Katie Stoops and Bri'yana McCoy for most volunteer years, having all volunteered for 4 years.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Ellis encouraged all the teens to return for next year's Summer Teen Volunteer Program.