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AHVRP Award of Excellence
AHVRP 2016 Award of Excellence
Kelley Boothby, CAVS, Director, Volunteer Services, Hartford Hospital, Hartford, Connecticut
Nomination submitted by Eileen Pelletier, CAVS, Co-Director of Volunteers Services, Hartford Hospital, Hartford, Connecticut

Kelley has been in volunteer management for over 20 years. During that time she has not only continued to appreciate those colleagues who mentored her at the beginning of her career, but continues to recognize the expertise that can be found there still. And now she shares her time and talents to help others the way she was helped whenever she is asked.

Kelley was in one of the first groups to take the CAVS exam. By acquiring this certification she demonstrated her experience and expertise. However Kelley’s leadership in healthcare volunteer management is not only in policies, procedures and program development. Her leadership truly shines in the area of the heart. Her compassionate nature and full embrace of the spirit of volunteerism guides her to work with many applicants of various backgrounds and circumstances. And where others may see applicants who have no documented skills or work experience, Kelley sees the potential for a caring presence that can be developed into a true asset for the hospital, while at the same time developing self-confidence and opportunities in themselves.

She is an example for all of us by advocating for the volunteer management profession in our own organization and also by supporting others in their quest for recognition and support in theirs. And she feels very strongly about providing recognition where it is due. While involved with the Connecticut Association Directors of Volunteer Services in Healthcare (CADVSH) Board, Kelley was responsible for the development of Connecticut Award for Professional Excellence. She believed it was important for our members to be recognized for their contributions to the profession and their organizations. The CAPE award then went on to become a model for the New England Award for Professional Excellence for the New England Association Directors of Healthcare Volunteer Services (NEADHVS).

Her recognition of others extends to other professionals who collaborate with Volunteer Services to provide improvements in patient care. She was instrumental in the nomination of three Hartford Hospital colleagues (an APRN, and RN and a PT) who were chosen to receive the "Healthcare Hero" award from the Connecticut Hospital Association.

Within Hartford Hospital Kelley's expertise have been recognized in 2012 as a member of the Mobility volunteer program team with the "Making a Difference Together" award - an award that recognizes efforts that improve patient care with cross-discipline collaboration. In 2013 she was a member of the group that receive the Team of the Year Finalist recognition for the No One Dies Alone program implementation.

Kelley was responsible for the development and implementation of the Pet Therapy program at Hartford Hospital. Eighteen years ago there were only a few of these programs operating in hospitals, so Kelley was in the forefront of this movement. She developed guidelines for screening dogs and owners, policies for their involvement with patients, and training materials to make the entire process easier for all involved. She has grown the program to one with a steady presence of approximately 40 dogs that come into the hospital each month, and not only in the main acute care hospital, but in our psychiatric hospital as well. In 2007 the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association recognized Kelley and 4 dogs from her programs with “recognition for the importance of human companion animal bond in enhancing care.” In recent years Kelley has expanded the Pet Therapy program to include “Welcome Waggers” – dogs and their owners stationed in our main lobby entrance to provide a warm welcome and stress relief to all who would like to visit with the dog. She has also implemented a certification process that is administered at Hartford Hospital to help ensure that dogs who are certified meet the specific needs of our facility.

Kelley has also been involved in the development of several other innovative programs including Keeping In Touch (a visitation program for geriatric patients with delirium), Patient Safety (rounding on high fall risk patients) and Mobility is Medicine (mobilizing patients who do not require physical therapy but require assistance and encouragement to walk) . For her work in development of these programs Kelley was the co-recipient of the NEADHVS President’s Award for the Keeping In Touch program (2006), and the Patient Safety program (2007). In 2011 the Patient Safety program was awarded the Extraordinary Program Award by AHVRP and in 2014 the Mobility program received the same award.

Kelley has always been willing to share her program information with other volunteer management professionals through conference calls and presentations. In early 2016 Kelley co-presented a webinar regarding the Mobility Is Medicine program for the New Hampshire/Vermont association. She was also co-author of an article about the same program that was published in the AONE nursing journal in 2014. In 2011 she co-presented workshops on Patient Safety and Aging Volunteers and Graceful Retirement for NEADHVS and AHVRP.

Kelley was elected by her national peers to a three-year term on the AHVRP Board of Directors. There she was a well-respected and active participant. While on AHVRP 2008-2010 she was responsible for publications and webinars. Kelley was responsible for national newsletter publications to the memberships promoting education and best practices. She has been instrumental in several of the publications that we all use today. She remained very involved even after her three years on the board. She has served on the education and CAVS committee, and is currently on the awards committee. She spent three years on the Committee On Volunteers (COV) 2014-2016, and the committee on HAVE awards. Her generous spirit set the tone that volunteer programs are better when people willingly share their experiences. She would make time to talk one on one or schedule time to call other COV members to follow up on ideas. She is the epitome of collaboration.
On the state level Kelley has been both a Board member and President of CADVSH, and has been very active on committees. In 2011 she was the recipient of the CT Award for Professional Excellence from CADVSH. Kelley was the NEADHVS Education Chair from 2004-2005, President from 2005-2006, and Immediate Past President from 2006-2007. She has served on numerous committees through the years as well. Kelley was instrumental in NEADHVS acquiring 501c3 status through her active collaboration with the UConn School of Law. In 2014 she was chosen as the recipient for the New England Award for Professional Excellence. Kelley is very active in her church as Eucharistic minister and as a volunteer at Hartford Hospital as both a Eucharistic minister and Pet Therapy volunteer.




To recognize individuals who have demonstrated exemplary service and contribution to AHVRP and to the profession of healthcare volunteer management. 

Selection Criteria:

  • Nominee is a current AHVRP National member with at least five years of consecutive annual membership
  • Nominee has not been an AHVRP Board member in the last two years
  • Nominator must be a professional colleague (not a subordinate)
  • All content is included and submitted in this application by July 15, 2016.
  • Nominator submits content that describes the nominee's professional participation at the local, state, and/or national levels as required in the selection criteria. 

Please be sure you have carefully reviewed the purpose, eligibility, and criteria for this distinguished award. Selection is based solely on the information provided in this application- please be comprehensive.  All applications must be submitted by July 15, 2016.


View past winners here.