Lynn Smith, a volunteer at CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs, has been selected to chair the American Hospital Association 2016 Committee on Volunteers.
The Committee on Volunteers is a specialty committee that focuses on the roles, responsibilities and services of organized volunteers and members of auxiliary groups, and the community perspective the volunteers provide for the health care field, according to a news release.
The committee provides input in the AHA policy development process and takes part in grass roots advocacy. They also serve as the selection committee for the AHA's Hospital Awards for Volunteer Excellence.
The COV is made up of 15 volunteers from across the country who serve three-year terms, Smith said. Candidates submit biographies that are used to select new members.
Smith is the third person from Arkansas to ever be selected for the committee, and this will be her fourth term on the panel.
"I was overwhelmed to be selected (for the committee) and then to be asked to be the chair," said Smith.
The committee meets twice a year, once for the AHA Membership meeting in Washington, D.C., in the spring, and again in the fall, usually in Chicago.
Smith began her volunteer career at the Medical Center of South Arkansas in El Dorado, shortly after Sept. 11, 2001. She said she saw the attacks on television and felt she needed to do something to help someone, even if she couldn't help in New York. Her mother was already a hospital volunteer, so Smith decided to join her.
While in El Dorado, Smith served as newsletter editor, vice president and president of her local auxiliary. She was appointed to the MCSA Auxiliary Board.
According to the news release, Smith has served as president of the Arkansas Hospital Auxiliary Association, where she was instrumental in the board's "go green" initiative and establishing the AHAA website. In 2008, she was elected the state AHAA newsletter editor. She has also served on the AHA board.
In October 2014, Smith relocated to Hot Springs and currently volunteers in the gift shop at CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs. She said she chose CHI St. Vincent to volunteer at because she had many friends there and had undergone treatment for breast cancer at the hospital 10 years ago.
Smith said she encourages everyone to volunteer, adding that there are many opportunities available.
"I cannot begin to express how rewarding being a volunteer is," Smith said.Local on 02/22/2016