November 08, 2009
Clarendon Hills resident provides nearly 600 hours of service
Hinsdale – Nurses in Adventist Hinsdale Hospital’s cardiac care unit and cardiovascular intensive care unit have more pressing concerns than making sure they have enough supplies to make it through the day. That’s why they’re grateful for Tom Byrne, who takes care of these needs before they become problems. Byrne, who has racked up nearly 600 volunteer hours, recently was named the hospital’s volunteer of the month.
The 71-year-old Clarendon Hills resident started volunteering in 2007, shortly after he was treated for the second time in the hospital’s cardiac care unit. He has been a patient at the hospital several times over the years and decided it was time to give back to those who had helped him.
“Nurses are so appreciative,” he said. “I volunteer because of all they did for me. It’s something small that I can do.”
His duties include stocking medical supplies in patient rooms, taking inventory of critical equipment, and getting replacement equipment from nurses to place in proper areas. He volunteers every Saturday.
“Tom is always punctual and completes the tasks assigned,” Kathy Lenke, a nurse in the cardiovascular intensive care unit wrote in his volunteer nomination form. “He is very thorough and even offers suggestions to make things easier or more thorough. He leaves me detailed notes of items I’m running low on so I know what to order.”
Added Vida Reid, another cardiovascular intensive care unit nurse: “We’ve never had a volunteer be so dedicated and efficient.”
Byrne’s service extends beyond the four walls of Adventist Hinsdale Hospital. He and his wife, Joanne, volunteer from 2 to 6 a.m. once a month at PADS at the Clarendon Hills Presbyterian Church. They also help with the emergency food pantry at Notre Dame Catholic Church in Clarendon Hills. If someone in the community needs food right away, the couple contacts the person, shops and then delivers food directly to their home.
“Volunteering is something that’s worth doing if you’re able to do it,” he said.
Byrne also is a part-time school bus driver for the Romeoville-based Valley View Community Unit School District 365U. He and his wife have four children and five grandchildren.
To volunteer at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital, call (630) 856-4000.