VA Maryland Health Care System
(BALTIMORE, MD) The Veterans Affairs (VA) Maryland Health Care System has recognized three outstanding volunteers as Volunteers of the Year, each representing a different VA facility. Alice Dunton was selected as Volunteer of the Year at the Baltimore VA Medical Center, while Brian Shipp snagged the honor at the Perry Point VA Medical Center. Melissa Stinchcomb earned the recognition of Volunteer of the Year at the Loch Raven VA Community Living & Rehabilitation Center. Those recognized as extraordinary volunteers of the year at several VA Maryland outpatient clinics include Larry Snyder at the Glen Burnie VA Outpatient Clinic; Bob Thomsen at the Fort Howard VA Outpatient Clinic; and Lou Reymann at the Fort Meade VA Outpatient Clinic.
Each year, more than 900 community members volunteer in an array of assignments throughout the VA Maryland Health Care System. “Volunteers provide a tremendous contribution toward the care of our veteran patients,” said Susan Kern, program manager of Voluntary Service at the health care system. “They truly live up to our motto of “serving those who have served”.
Dunton, the Volunteer of the Year at the Baltimore VA Medical Center, volunteers as a patient escort. She is quick to take on special tasks, is known to be reliable and respectful of everyone, and usually steps up to train and orient new escort volunteers who help transport patients to their various appointments throughout the medical center. She has distinguished herself as a reliable leader and a reliable volunteer.
Army veteran Shipp, the Volunteer of the Year at the Perry Point VA Medical Center, began volunteering in Occupational Therapy in August 2014. Shortly thereafter, he learned of a need for someone to fill the role of coordinator for the Volunteer Transportation Program and stepped up to the challenge. As transportation coordinator, Shipp manages the schedules of multiple volunteers who drive veteran patients to and from their VA medical appointments. He, too, is a volunteer driver. Without assistance from the Volunteer Transportation Program, some veteran patients would have no other means to get to their outpatient appointments. Shipp juggles his time volunteering at the VA Maryland Health Care System with a full-time job as a community transit driver for Cecil County and part-time roles as a driving instructor with the Cecil Driving School and a Rider Coach with the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.
Stinchcomb, the Volunteer of the Year at the Loch Raven VA Community Living & Rehabilitation Center, is described by staff and fellow volunteers as a devoted champion of veterans who always goes the extra mile. She took extra time to help the Hospice and Palliative Care team to address and mail 2,500 invitations for the VA Maryland Health Care System’s Annual Memorial Service and then volunteered at the event. Particularly good with details, Stinchcomb’s respectfulness and kindness coupled with her reliability, dependability and punctuality helped her to stand out.
To learn more about volunteer opportunities throughout the VA Maryland Health Care System, call 1-800-463-6295, ext. 7100 or visit: http://www.maryland.va.gov/giving/