NORTON — Norton Community Hospital Auxiliary’s Alane Lovern of Pound was recently elected president of the Virginia Association of Healthcare Auxiliaries and Volunteers (VAHAV).
Lovern has been a member of the NCH Auxiliary for five years and served on the VAHAV Board of Directors for four years. The auxiliary provides financial support for various projects that support the hospital’s patients, guests and team members.
The auxiliary also operates the hospital gift shop with proceeds helping to benefit patients and their families.
A retired teacher from J.W. Adams Combined School in Pound, Lovern will serve as president of the state auxiliary organization through next October.
“It was quite an honor to be elected,” she said. “Each year, the new president has a theme, and my theme was ‘Volunteering is Love in Motion.’ I still like the idea of helping one person, and then maybe they will pass it on. Love never stops.”
In addition to operating the gift shop and helping various good causes, NCH Auxiliary volunteers provide emotional support to patients and their families.
“I’m a firm believer in doing to others as you’d have them do to you. And I never met anyone with any auxiliaries over the years who didn’t feel the same way,” she said.
“You would not believe the number of people who have come in and cried, and we’ve hugged them and been their shoulder to cry on and they’ve asked us to say a prayer for them. It goes beyond monetary contributions.”
One of Lovern’s goals as president of the VAHAV is to raise general awareness of Norton Community Hospital, a facility in the Johnson City-based Mountain States Health Alliance.
The NCH Auxiliary is active in a number of other charitable programs, including the NCH Baby Closet Fund, Coats for Kids, scholarships to Mountain Empire Community College, food deliveries for senior citizens, and more. The auxiliary also gives handmade teddy bears to children in the hospital’s emergency department, as well as to all operating room pediatric patients.
Lovern said the NCH Auxiliary is a dedicated group but membership has waned. The group is always looking for new volunteers, she said.
“We are trying to rebuild and revive our auxiliary so we can help take care of the hospital and the community,” Lovern said.
For more information about volunteering for the NCH Auxiliary visit www.MSHA.com/NCHAuxiliary, or call Juanita Rutherford at (276) 439-1320, or visit the gift shop and ask a member.