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D-H Honors Volunteers Virtually

Volunteer Services Recognition 2020

These awards are one of the nicest things the Volunteers Leadership Board does in recognizing volunteers and staff who support the wonderful volunteer corps at Dartmouth-Hitchcock.

Gretchen Maynard, president, D-H Volunteers Leadership Board
Joanna Celenza, left, and Christopher Braley

On Wednesday, August 26, Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H) Volunteer Services recognized the contributions of Joanna Celenza and Christopher Braley at the 2020 Volunteers Awards presentation.

Gretchen Maynard, president of the D-H Volunteers Leadership Board, welcomed an online audience and a few selected guests to the virtual ceremony. “These awards are one of the nicest things the Volunteers Leadership Board does in recognizing volunteers and staff who support the wonderful volunteer corps at Dartmouth-Hitchcock,” said Maynard.

Anne-Lee Verville Award for Leading Volunteer Engagement – Joanne Celenza

Joanna Celenza Volunteer Awards 2020Joanna Celenza, MA, MBA, family support specialist in the Intensive Care Nursery (ICN), received the Anne-Lee Verville Award for Leading Volunteer Engagement for her work with volunteers in the ICN. The award is given in honor of Verville’s ten years of service as chair of the D-H Board of Trustees. Recipients of this award are D-H employees who are nominated by volunteers as having gone above and beyond their assigned role to support volunteerism and community engagement and demonstrate leadership in the integration, education and support of volunteers.

“She has quietly advocated on behalf of volunteers for additional educational opportunities and training, and integrating the patient families into the care team,” said Maynard. “Her gratitude for whatever volunteers can offer is clearly evident and promotes a welcoming environment where they can share openly and feel valued.”

Celenza, whose father, Robert Fuehrer, was a former trustee, started as a volunteer at D-H. “Having been in that role, I understand what it’s like,” she said. “It’s something that I value very much.” In addition, Celenza gave birth to premature twins who spent time in the ICN, and she understands the needs of parents. “The experience was transformational for me as a mother. It deepened my understanding of the importance of family collaborations in health care,” added Celenza, who chairs the ICN Parent Council and manages the ICN Family Facebook page. 

The Edith Amsden Award – Christopher Braley

Dr. Conroy and Chris Braley at 2020 Volunteers Ceremony
Joanne Conroy, MD, left, congratulates Christopher Braley

The Edith Amsden Award is given in honor of Amsden, who devoted 45 years to volunteer work at the hospital. Recipients of this award are “a group of very special volunteers,” emphasized Maynard. Volunteers nominated for this award set a high standard of volunteerism with their loyalty and dedication, which provides inspiration for other volunteers to follow. This year’s recipient, Christopher Braley, volunteers five days a week for three hours each day prior to going to his full-time job in Food and Nutrition Services at DHMC. “He’s genuinely kind, caring, very friendly, hardworking, dedicated and dependable,” said Maynard. “His compassion is visible, and his upbeat energy is tireless.  And his work ethic is deeply valued by all those who work with him.”  

Over 450 volunteers serve at DHMC and nearly 1,000 across the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health (D-HH) system. Due to COVID-19, many volunteers have been unable to serve in person, but many have found ways to continue to serve remotely as Patient and Family Advisors and on the Leadership Board, sewing masks, arranging food donations and even supporting each other on Zoom coffee chats.

“I find it compelling to witness and celebrate your commitment to the community we live in. Our patients, families and staff all benefit from an array of experiences our volunteers bring to us,” said Ed Stansfield, MA, chair, D-H Board of Trustees.

Prior to the presentation of the awards, Joanne Conroy, CEO and President of D-H and D-HH, noted, “Volunteers are the face of kindness and compassion here at the institution. There are probably other things people want to do in their retirement, and I’m humbled that people want to spend their time here.”