Every day at Hudson Hospital & Clinic and Westfields Hospital & Clinic, members of the community donate their time to make hospitals a little more welcoming and a little less worrying for patients and their families.

The volunteer roles are varied. Some volunteers work as greeters and gift shop attendants; others work with the Hospital Elder Life Program, meeting with patients to help prevent the onset of delirium. Some volunteers even team up with their dogs - through the pet therapy program - to brighten the day for patients, visitors and colleagues.

National Volunteer Week is April 15-21, 2018. Maria Soderquist, Volunteer and Events Coordinator at Hudson Hospital & Clinic, says it's the perfect opportunity to celebrate hospital volunteers for the thousands of hours they donate annually.

"Our volunteers are a unique group of people, who have a dedication and passion for volunteering that is impressive. They are truly an extension of our care team here and the life they bring to our building with their spirit and work ethic is truly appreciated by our staff, patients and guests," said Soderquist.

In 2017, 68 volunteers at Westfields donated 2,200-plus hours of time, while 105 Hudson volunteers donated a further 7,682 hours. Across the four HealthPartners hospitals in the St. Croix Valley and western Wisconsin, 440 volunteers donated more than 31,000 hours last year. That's equal to more than 15 full-time employees.

"The volunteers really give our patients personalized attention in a way that complements the care they receive from staff," said Jo Wrich, Director of Foundation at Westfields Hospital & Clinic. "A great volunteer is someone who is passionate about being here for our patients and they see the value that they bring to the team."

For more information on becoming a volunteer at Hudson or Westfields, contact:

Maria Soderquist 715-531-6070 at Hudson Hospital & Clinic or Renee Dennis 715-243-2793 at Westfields Hospital & Clinic.