Volunteers with Saint Joseph Hospital and Saint Joseph East earn statewide honor

Judy Albrecht, chair, KHA Committee on Volunteers, and president, CHI Saint Joseph Hospital Volunteer Guild, presented Judy Fifield, volunteer, Saint Joseph Hospital and member of Guild board, the HANDS Award recognizing outstanding volunteer/auxiliary programs in hospitals across the state.

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Volunteer groups from CHI Saint Joseph Health have received statewide recognition for a program that provides pocket-sized quilts to help hospital patients and family members cope with difficult situations.

The hospital volunteers from Saint Joseph Hospital and Saint Joseph East were recognized with HANDS Awards for exceptional service during the Kentucky Hospital Association’s (KHA) Volunteer Luncheon on Wednesday, May 8. The HANDS Award, which stands for Helping Accomplish Noteworthy Duties Successfully, recognizes outstanding volunteer and auxiliary programs in hospitals across Kentucky. The awards program took place during the 90th Annual KHA Convention in Lexington.

KHA selected the award-winning volunteers for their work with the Pocket Prayer Quilts program. Pocket Prayer Quilts are small quilt squares with a heart sewn inside, as a metaphor for love. They are offered to patients, loved ones and hospital staff during a time of need. Special quilts are sewn for those experiencing loss.

“With this program, we are able to share a gentle reminder to our patients and their families, as well as our staff and visitors, that they are in the thoughts and prayers of someone who cares,” said Leslie Buddeke Smart, CFRE, president, CHI Saint Joseph Health Foundations, which oversees the volunteer program. “We are so appreciative of our ‘Noggineers,’ our volunteers who lovingly craft the pocket prayer quilts and our spiritual care volunteers, who help distribute the pocket prayer quilts, and are pleased to see their commitment and compassion be recognized with this meaningful award.”

Albrecht also presented Joan Webb, volunteer, Saint Joseph East, with the award for the hospitals’ Pocket Prayer Quilts.

Volunteers are responsible for designing and crafting the quilts. Smart said the volunteer staff recently received a box of Pocket Prayer Quilts from Pennsylvania sewn by a family member who had visited someone at Saint Joseph Hospital and was given a prayer quilt while visiting. The Pocket Prayer Quilts are shared with people of all nationalities and faith traditions within the hospitals. “The universal language of healing, hope and love is shared with these small fabric squares,” Smart said.

To learn how you can create and share Pocket Prayer Quilts for patients and their families, visit www.chisaintjosephhealth.org/pocket-prayer-quilts.

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