The Wyoming Medical Center announced in a press release that its volunteers were awarded the Wyoming Hospital Association’s Outstanding Volunteer Program of the Year at the association's annual meeting.

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The award is given out annually to volunteer programs at health facilities across the state.

Lance Porter, Banner Wyoming Medical Center’s CEO, said in the release:

"It is without a doubt that I say that we couldn’t do what we do without our volunteers," Porter said. "It’s great to see the program recognized for the amazing work our volunteers do day in and day out."

The Wyoming Medical Center’s volunteer program started in 1953 and was initially started to provide fundraising to benefit the hospital and expand volunteer services such as the information desk.

Volunteers perform many duties at the hospital, including staffing the information desks and providing certified therapy dog visits, escorting patients, serving as chaplains, providing information, helping families, and delivering flowers or books to patients.

The Wyoming Hospital Association hosted its annual convention on Sept. 7 in Laramie, which also included the 2022 Norman S. Holt Award For Nursing Excellence, the 2022 Daniel J. Lex Award for Outstanding Service in Long Term Care, and the Hospital Volunteers of the Year 2022.

Lisa Swartz, a Wyoming Medical Center volunteer supervisor since 2017, said in the release:

"Over the years, the hospital’s volunteer program continued to keep pace with the expansion and growth of the hospital," Swartz said "Changes in technology and many renovations since the founding of our volunteer program haven’t changed the dedication our volunteers provide by helping others...It really is an honor to work with the dedicated volunteers who enrich our hospital and community."

This is the second time since 1995 that Wyoming Medical Center volunteers have received this award, with the last time being in 2002.

Mandy Cepeda, Regional Marketing and Public Relations Manager with the Wyoming Medical Center, said that they have around 100 volunteers that come and go due to various life events, which mostly skew older due to them having more free time.

In 2021, over 100 volunteers contributed over 8,300 volunteer hours and saved the hospital an estimated $239,000.

Cepeda said that volunteers weren't at the hospital in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that volunteers were asked to come back on-site in the spring of 2021.

Since 2003, around 20 volunteers at the Wyoming Medical Center have earned the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award, which requires 4,000 hours of volunteering.

While none received it in 2021, 92-year-old Jack Laird, who has volunteered with the hospital for over 21 years, got the award in 2022.

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