By Grace Bennett
The volunteer effort at Northern Westchester Hospital (NWH) “dovetails perfectly with our focus which is patient-centered care. We don’t just say that here, we practice it,” says David Miller, M.D., chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at NWH. He stresses the key role volunteers serve at NWH and the vital impact they have every single day on patient care. “In the area of surgical services alone, we have a full time ‘navigator’ who arrives to help in the process of ambulatory care; there are many volunteers who show patients where to go and who, by the way, also help staff at different locations.”
It’s not too surprising then that Dr. Miller generously extends his own hand at the hospital wearing three vital volunteer hats. For over four years, he has been an active member of the Northern Westchester Hospital Foundation. He is also a member of the board of trustees and of the hospital’s medical board.
Playing a leadership role in critical, volunteer fundraising efforts for the hospital comes naturally for Dr. Miller.An Armonk resident for the last 30 years, Dr. Miller has two children, 31 and 28, both born at NWH. “Both my grandchildren were born here too. My wife had surgery here. Assuring great patient care here for everyone is personal for me and for many of us.” Other doctors who sit on the foundation board include plastic surgeon David Palaia, M.D., and obstetrician/gynecologist, Anita Grover, M.D., neurosurgeon Omar Syed, MD, and pediatrician Margaret Collins, MD.
The foundation’s success, he maintains, would not be possible without an extensive volunteer effort. “Our entire objective is to develop and maintain a strong relationship with our surrounding communities. Foundation Board members need to remain informed, and our volunteers act as Ambassadors to the community.” He called a recent presentation by Twigs volunteers to the board of trustees “tremendous” and “eye opening.” “They perfectly illustrated what volunteering really means to this hospital. The fundraising they do is phenomenal through their gift shop which has been in existence for almost 75 years.”
The foundation board plans a combination of educational programs and fundraising through hospital or community-based events, such as a walk benefiting cancer patients, golf outings, concerts with local bands, to the all-important annual gala. “It is our largest vehicle,” he explained, and this year, hopes are high to surpass the $1.4 million raised last year. This year, the ‘Imagine What’s Next’ gala date is November 18th. To attend or make a donation to the hospital, please visit www.nwhconnect.org/2017Gala.
Ultimately, said Dr. Miller, the foundation and all the hospital volunteers “send a very strong message to patients that our hospital is a community that takes a huge interest in the welfare of our patients and their families.”
Grace Bennett is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of the Inside Press, Inc.