Volunteers Sandra Stewart, Kathleen Rempe, Carolyn Poe and Elaine Bandstra were recognized at the at the 2019 Iowa Governor’s Volunteer Awards  on August 21st at the Bridgeview Center in Ottumwa, Iowa for their combined 70 years of service to Mahaska Health.

The Iowa Governor’s Volunteer Awards program provides Iowa nonprofit, charitable and government organizations an avenue to honor their volunteers with state-level recognition. Mahaska Health Volunteer Coordinator Kim Langfitt outlined the guidelines for nomination, which include: strong leadership, an unparalleled dedication to volunteerism, and collaboration in their service to others.  “We are so blessed by our 147 volunteers and their nearly 10,000 hours of service this past year,” Langfitt said. “Each and every one of them is dedicated to caring for the individuals they come in contact with at Mahaska Health. We are honored to be able to recognize Sandra, Kathleen, Carolyn and Elaine at the Iowa Governor’s Volunteer Awards. ”

Sandra Stewart started volunteering in 2010 for Hospice, and once the 2013 hospital addition opened she began volunteering every Monday afternoon as a Liaison in the surgery department. According the Langfitt, “Sandy keeps things running smoothly and the surgery care members appreciate all she does.  She is instrumental in serving the patients and families of the loved ones she greets, and her dedication to our patients and mission statement is exemplified in her work.”

In 2004, Kathleen Rempe joined the Mahaska Health family, greeting patients at Door #1.  Now Rempe serves as the friendly face at Door #4 one evening a month, while also teaching for Oskaloosa Community School District and raising baby goats with her 4-H chapter.  “Kathleen’s dependability is highly regarded and we feel very lucky to have such a wonderful volunteer like Kathleen on our team!” Langfitt shared.

Carolyn Poe began volunteering in December 2007, serving as a Liaison in the surgery department one day a week and working in the gift shop one day every month.  According to Langfitt, “Carolyn is instrumental in serving our patients and their families in surgery. Her positive attitude and calm demeanor are an inspiration. She is truly a role model to all volunteers.”

Elaine Bandstra has volunteered with Hospice for over 34 years, spending the first Sunday of each month working in the Hospice Serenity House office as a Patient Care Volunteer. “Elaine has a very caring manner and a heart of gold; she takes volunteering very seriously.  The Hospice staff appreciates all she does, and she is instrumental in serving the patients and families of the loved ones she helps in the Hospice Serenity House. We are very fortunate and appreciative to have such a versatile volunteer,” shared Langfitt.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer at Mahaska Health, please call Langfitt at 641-672-3342 or find out more online at mahaskahealth.org.