Volunteer Spotlight – ‘Meet the Anns!’

Like many not-for-profits, RVNAhealth counts on a corps of volunteers to complement our staff with their professional expertise, fresh perspectives, and their good old-fashioned manpower. The RVNAhealth volunteer program offers safe and diverse opportunities for donating time in a way that is purposeful and meaningful for everyday heroes of all ages.  

Meet Ann Harrington 

When did you start volunteering for RVNAhealth?    July 2021

Why did you choose to volunteer for RVNAhealth?   I was interested in helping in the community for an organization that promotes wellness and quality of life

What kinds of things do you do for RVNAhealth? I volunteer in the Rehabilitation & Wellness  Center helping the therapists with equipment set-up, maintaining the gym, greeting and checking in patients, and learning the scheduling system.

What is your favorite part about your role?  The friendly staff and clients, pleasant working environment and the opportunity to learn new skills.

Is RVNAhealth what you expected?  Yes. It is very busy, and you need to multi-task. I gained new appreciation for what the therapists and admin staff do.

Please tell us a little about yourself!  I was born in Buffalo, NY and moved to CT after college to begin working in advertising. I’ve held positions in children’s book publishing and managed health care. My husband Steve and I have 2 children in their 20s.

I volunteered in different organizations while my children were in school. 

Where do you reside?  Ridgefield.

What else do you enjoy doing?  Swimming, theater, walking, traveling, wine-tastings, dogs.

Do you volunteer with any other organizations?  Yes, I am involved in Community Bible Study and Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities.

Meet Anne Gilson

When did you start volunteering for RVNAhealth?    Summer of 2021

Why did you choose to volunteer for RVNAhealth?  My husband had back surgery and RVNAhealth came to our home and helped get him back on his feet.

What kinds of things do you do for RVNAhealth?   Prepare intake folders.

What is your favorite part about your role?  The cheerfulness of the staff.

Is RVNAhealth what you expected?  No, much more. I did not realize all the services offered.

Please tell us a little about yourself!  In the morning, I work at Wooster School in Danbury.

Where do you reside?  Ridgefield since 1988.

What else do you enjoy doing?  I have 3 grown children (all with health insurance). Love reading and traveling.

Do you volunteer with any other organizations?  Daily Bread. 

 

RVNAhealth is infinitely grateful for the support and friendship of Ann Harrington and Anne Gilson. We invite others in the community who are interested in volunteering and supporting our mission to get in touch.   We have assignments big and small!

 

Welcome Sophia!

On June 8th, we welcomed a very special addition to our RVNAhealth team —  Sophia, our very own therapy dog! There have been lots of ooohs and aaahs around the RVNAhealth offices since she arrived and several weeks later, it still takes Sophia quite a while to get to her desk in the morning — what with all the greetings and affection.

Sophia, a golden retriever, is two years old and has been in training since her birth.  She was originally intended to be a seeing eye dog, but her calm demeanor and mild pace ultimately destined her to be the perfect facility/therapy dog.

Prior to her arrival in the office, our three RVNAhealth handlers, Stephanie Notaro, Hospice Volunteer Coordinator; Stephanie Collins, BeWELL Coordinator; and Garrett Walkup, Hospice Pastoral Care Coordinator received extensive training with Sophia at ECAD — Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities.  They all passed their final exams, and graduation took place on June 16th. It was a lovely ceremony with four other graduates alongside our Sophia. It wasn’t announced officially, but we suspect she was the valedictorian. She’s awfully smart. 

Since her arrival, Sophia has been busy getting acquainted with the RVNAhealth Ridgefield and New Milford offices, her working role, and her handlers. She has been on hospice patient visits, has visited Ridgefield Crossings and Wilton Meadows, and has chaperoned at COVID-19 vaccine appointments. We’re looking forward to bringing her to all the towns we serve. Sophia truly comes to life when she’s doing her job.  As should we all! 

In the weeks and months to come, she’ll be going to volunteer events, bereavement groups, and community education and outreach events.  As Sophia’s schedule fills up and we introduce her to society, we’ll keep you posted on opportunities to say hello. She’s quite a darling. Check out the photos below.

 

Volunteer Training: A Gift for Life

“The experience is a game changer,” says Ridgefield resident Maureen Bohrer (below, right), referring to the 16-hour training she attended as part of her RVNAhealth hospice volunteer orientation. While some prospective hospice volunteers find the hours daunting, Bohrer considers it a gift.Continue reading

Community Food Drive in Progress!

This summer, RVNAhealth is partnering with the Danbury Health Department to ensure the COVID-19 vaccine reaches underserved communities where obstacles, such as time, transportation, information, and access, are preventing people from getting vaccinated.Continue reading

Cheers! The 2021 RHS Interns are Here!

There’s warmth in the air, spring fever is upon us, and the Ridgefield High School Interns are in the building. All in all, cause for celebration. This year, RVNAhealth welcomes RHS seniors Isabella DeMassa and Ally Rosenbaum. Both will be studying health-related fields in college, and both are truly appreciated this next month.Continue reading

Meet RVNAhealth Volunteer, Tiffany Lee

According to Tiffany Lee, if you have heart, anything is possible. Lee, a RVNAhealth music therapy hospice volunteer, would know. She is all heart. A Hong Kong native and second-year graduate student in Montclair University’s music therapy program, Lee is devoting her practicum, or field work, to hospice service where she brings the joy and unity of music to terminally-ill patients and their families.Continue reading