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Texas Health Plano Volunteer Wins National Award|
PLANO, Texas — Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano volunteer Jim Bushnell wears his heart on his sleeve (well, technically on his vest). And, it sure is a good thing he does.
Bushnell, who has volunteered at the hospital since 2004, was recently recognized by Mended Hearts, a national non-profit organization focused on the care and support of cardiovascular patients. He was awarded the Regional Visiting Chairman's Excellence Award for his dedication to the Dallas Mended Hearts chapter.
A heart disease survivor himself, Bushnell has worked with more than 5,700 patients. Assignments range from visiting patients suffering chest pains to those recovering from cardiovascular surgery. He has learned how to quickly assess a patient's needs and find the best way to serve them.
"My goal is to let them know they are in good hands and to relieve their anxiety about the future," he said.
Bushnell got involved with the Mended Hearts program after he was forced into an early retirement from his "first career" due to his heart condition. While Bushnell's corporate 35-year background in marketing, human resources and healthcare gives him a great platform for volunteer work, his status as a former patient is also a real asset.
"The role of a Mended Hearts volunteer is to help other patients learn from the journey that I have been on," Bushnell said. "There are two things these patients need to know: one, especially after surgical intervention, you are a ‘heart patient' for the rest of your life, with ongoing medication, a new diet, and other lifestyle changes. Two, there are many resources available to make the changes easier and your full participation in life more attainable."
In his "second career" as a Mended Hearts volunteer at Texas Health Plano, Bushnell serves as the webmaster and national newsletter chairman for Mended Hearts. He was also the emcee of the Mended Hearts 60th Anniversary National Conference, which was held in Dallas in May 2012. He helped launch the Mended Little Hearts in Dallas, which focuses on supporting the children and families of children with heart conditions and congenital heart defects.
"Jim is an excellent volunteer,” said Bev Darling, volunteer manager at Texas Health Plano. “His compassionate nature and optimistic personality really help cardiac patients in their time of need. He has been a wonderful asset to the volunteer program at Texas Health Plano."
When he is not volunteering to his heart's content, Bushnell helps Patti, his wife of 45 years, with her business. He also enjoys photography, travel and spending time with his grandchildren.
To learn more about the volunteer program at Texas Health Plano, visit TexasHealth.org/Volunteer.
Mended Hearts reaches out to cardiac patients through weekly hospital visits and monthly chapter meetings, with over 3,150 trained volunteers in 460 hospitals across the United States. To learn more, visit MendedHearts.org.
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For more information about Texas Health Resources, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.