Hinsdale, IL – Sher Fox likes to say she’s got the best job at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital. “My people are here because they choose to be,” said Fox, director of volunteer services. “There’s no monetary gain for them, yet they play such an important role at the hospital.” Fox oversees 450 volunteers who logged more than 48,000 volunteer hours in 2006.
Fox, a 15-year employee, recently received the prestigious Community Service Award from Adventist Health System. Adventist Hinsdale Hospital is among 37 hospitals in the Adventist Health System. The system employs 43,000 people and treats nearly 4 million patients annually at facilities across the United States. The Downers Grove resident was recognized at AHS’s 18th annual Conference on Mission, held Feb. 28-March 1 in Lake Mary, Fla.
The award honors employees for their exemplary dedication – both personally and professionally – to extending the healing ministry of Jesus Christ. It also recognizes the generous contributions and positive impact they’ve had on improving their community’s quality of life.
“No matter how busy Sher is, she always has time for each person,” said Mary Kelling, president of the volunteer board at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital. “I think she’s so successful in keeping volunteers because she always says, ‘We’re so glad you’re here.’ She always makes the volunteers feel so important.”
Adventist Hinsdale Hospital CEO Todd Werner nominated Fox for the award because she follows the golden rule of doing unto others as you would have others do unto you.
“Sher is a wonderful role model for Christian service,” Werner said. “She is never too busy to listen and work with each and every volunteer.”
Fox’s legion of volunteers includes an escort who uses a motorized wheelchair to get around because a genetic disorder prevents him from walking. Volunteering at the hospital twice a week gives him increased mobility and a sense of accomplishment, Werner noted, describing the example as one of many that demonstrate Fox’s willingness to work with volunteers from all walks of life, regardless of ability.
“I believe everyone has a talent to offer,” Fox said. “I will try to find a fit for every volunteer.”
Since joining Adventist Hinsdale Hospital in 1993, Fox has observed many changes in her cadre of volunteers. Most notably, there are more college students and more male volunteers.
One of Fox’s longtime volunteers has logged 20,000 volunteer hours – an incredibly high number that she doesn’t expect to see again anytime soon. And that’s unfortunate.
“The volunteer population is aging and it’s not replenishing itself because so many people are in the workforce,” Fox said. “We are always in recruitment mode, looking for new volunteers to join our team.”
Fox praised the high school students who comprise her junior volunteers.
“We have a thriving teen program,” Fox said. “Sure, we have the kids who are college bound and know even before they’re out of high school that they want to be doctors. But we also have the kids who are undeclared and come just because they want to help.”
To volunteer at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital, please call 630-856-4000.