AHVRP Member Spotlight
|Richard J. Van Laere, JD, PE
Auxiliary Vice President
Saint Francis Hospital
We asked Richard these questions.
First, welcome to AHVRP! As a new At Large member, what made you decide to join this year?
“After having a 35 year career in the oil industry, I am now a relatively new hospital volunteer at Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa, OK (SFH has 800+ volunteers health system-wide) and, as such, my knowledge of hospital volunteerism is limited. Further, after being a volunteer for two years, I have been selected to become an auxiliary officer and, also, selected to attend this year’s AHVRP conference in Chicago. Joining AHVRP as a new At Large member, will broaden my understanding and knowledge of hospital volunteerism. Attending educational sessions at the conference and interfacing with others in the healthcare community are ways of growing my knowledge of hospital volunteerism.”
As a first-time conference attendee, what are you most looking forward to at the 50th Annual AHVRP Conference & Exposition?
“I am looking forward to attending the educational offerings and taking advantage of networking opportunities at the conference. Finding best practices through meetings and networking with others is, to me, the most valuable part of the conference. Volunteers give up the most valuable thing they have: time. It is incumbent on leadership to spend that donation efficiently and effectively. Incorporating best practices that have been proven to be successful provide not only superior results but also continuous organizational improvement.”
Any final thoughts on what you serve as a volunteer or how you got involved with volunteering?
“I became interested in hospital volunteerism as a result of medical issues experienced by my wife and daughter. As a result, I wanted to not only understand the business model of hospitals but also help patients and their families as they deal with a patient’s medical issues. I started as a volunteer at Saint Francis Hospital in April, 2016, and have been volunteering in Surgery Family Waiting. I find it very gratifying to greet the families of patients and help the families stay informed. The importance of keeping the patient’s family informed and minimizing their anxiety cannot be underestimated. Our goal in Surgery Family Waiting is to take care of the family while others are taking care of the patient.”