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Washington Hospital To Honor Volunteers for Their Service

Washington Hospital To Honor Volunteers for Their Service

Washington Hospital will honor its adult volunteers on Friday, April 21, at a special in-person luncheon in the Conrad E. Anderson, MD, Auditorium located in the Washington West Building at 2500 Mowry Ave. in Fremont.

“In addition to volunteers from our Service League, which has supported Washington Hospital and its health care program for the past 68 years, we will recognize volunteers from Spiritual Care, Washington Hospital Healthcare Foundation, and the Washington Hospital Employee Association,” says director of Volunteer Services Evangeline Imana-Iyemura.

“Our volunteers are the heart and soul of Washington Hospital, breathing life and comfort into what are often stressful situations for people who require hospitalization or other services,” she says. “Because of COVID, we were unable to hold a celebratory luncheon in person for a few years. So, we are excited to be able to resume this tradition as one way to thank our volunteers.

The April 21 luncheon will feature comments by Washington Hospital CEO Kimberly Hartz; President of the board of directors Bernard Stewart, MD; and Chief of the Medical Staff, Shakir Hyder, MD. There also will be live entertainment, a photo booth, and a raffle to win a quilt made by members of the Service League.

Imana-Iyemura says that as of the end February 2023, the Service League had 492 active volunteers. “In 2022, 441 volunteers logged a total of nearly 20,000 volunteer hours and donated $10,000 to Washington Hospital,” she notes. “COVID obviously took a toll on our volunteers’ ability to participate. In January and February of this year, however, the volunteers already clocked more than 4,300 hours. We hope to continue bringing in more adult volunteers and college students. The Service League also is trying to rebuild their fundraising efforts, including bringing back the ‘Masquerade’ event that offers jewelry, accessories and perfumes.”

While Washington Hospital didn’t open until 1958, volunteer efforts began three years earlier. In 1955, a group of civic-minded local women met to determine how they could help bring a community hospital to Washington Township. By 1958, those volunteers had raised $15,000 for that effort. Through the years, volunteers have logged more than 2,155,940 hours of volunteer work. In addition to that first $15,000 contribution, Service League volunteers have donated more than $2.5 million to Washington Hospital and more than $355,335 in scholarships for students pursuing health-related careers.

Some of the many ways volunteers contribute to Washington Hospital include:

  • Staffing the lobby desks at Washington Hospital and Washington West
  • Managing the gift shop
  • Acting as Surgery Liaison to keep friends and families updated on patients’ status
  • Providing support to patients, families and friends in the Emergency and Critical Care Departments, as well as offering information about visiting procedures
  • Working in the Birthing Center, providing treats for new moms and pediatric patients, and conducting tours for families
  • Cuddling newborns in the Special Care Nursery
  • Visiting patients and staff members as members of the WOOF Canine Therapy program
  • Offering coaching for physical therapy patients in the Institute for Joint Restoration and Research
  • Making gifts and comfort items for newborns and Infusion Center patients as part of the Puppets/Hankies/Quilting Group
  • Playing the piano in the lobby for patients and visitors
  • Assisting with patient appointments and educational classes in the Women’s Center
  • Assisting with special projects, including Health & Wellness seminars, health screenings, and community events such as Think Pink and the Concert in the Park Series

Imana-Iyemura joined the staff at Washington Hospital in November 2018 partly because of her own experience with the Service League volunteers’ efforts. “Both of my children were born at Washington Hospital, and they received baby bonnets made out of hankies by the volunteers,” she recalls. “I still have those bonnets and have saved them for my children. It’s an honor to be part of this community.”

For more information on joining the Service League volunteers at Washington Hospital, please contact Imana-Iyemura at 510.818.5466 or by email at