Presidential Council Bestows Highest Honor on HMFW Volunteers
10/28/2005

FORT WORTH, Texas – The country’s highest award for volunteer service has been awarded to more than 40 volunteers at Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital (HMFW) and to the hospital’s volunteer services department.

In October, with 4,000 or more service hours over the course of their lifetime, 47 members of the hospital’s volunteer corps were feted for the President’s Call to Service Award. In addition, Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital’s volunteer department and two junior volunteers received the President’s Volunteer Service Award.

The volunteer department and its outstanding volunteers will be recognized for their accomplishments on November 1 during a ceremony hosted by Doug Hawthorne, president and CEO of Texas Health Resources, the HMFW parent company. The ceremony will begin at 11:15 a.m. in the Richardson Tower Lobby.

“We are extremely proud to recognize our most outstanding volunteers with this award,” said Barclay Berdan, president of Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital. “Our volunteers are role models in our community. They have been for 65 years. Their selfless donation of time, energy and talent brings us closer together as neighbors and as a nation, and they help us improve the health of the people in the communities we serve.”

Established in 2003, the President’s Volunteer Service Award and Call to Service Award were created by President George W. Bush to give presidential recognition to individuals, families and groups who meet requirements for volunteer service, measured by the number of service hours performed over a 12-month period and over a lifetime.

The top honor comes after the hospital teamed with the White House to become a certifying organization for the award. As a certifying organization, Harris is responsible for verifying volunteer service hours, nominating potential recipients and delivering the award.

The history of volunteerism at Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital began with the organization of the hospital’s first auxiliary in 1940. Back then, members paid annual dues of $1 and worked on a variety of fund-raising projects to help the hospital and its employees, patients and their families, and HMFW nursing school students. In 1954, the auxiliary organized the hospital’s volunteer corps, conducting the first orientation for 29 volunteers, who were then assigned to the seventh floor, surgical recovery, obstetrical department, outpatient department and flower cart service.

Today, more than 200 volunteers give thousands of hours of service each year in virtually every department in the hospital. The story of the HMFW volunteer corps will be told in the Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital history book, which is set for release in December.

“There are so many ways to contribute, and each volunteer hour makes a difference in improving the quality of life for others,” said Rebecca Bowyer, director of the HMFW volunteer department and a certified administrator of volunteer services.

“We encourage everyone to get involved and to bring along your family, friends and neighbors. Together, we can strengthen our community one hour at a time.”

For more information about volunteering at Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital, log on to www.harrismethodisthospitals.org or call the volunteer department at (817) 882-3020.

About the President’s Volunteer Service Award
The President’s Volunteer Service Award is issued by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation, a group created by President George W. Bush to recognize the valuable contributions volunteers are making to the nation. Chaired by two-time Super Bowl Champion Darrell Green, with former U.S. Senators Bob Dole and John Glenn as honorary co-chairs, the council comprises leaders in government, media, entertainment, business, education, nonprofits and volunteer service organizations, and community volunteering.

About Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital
Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital, a Magnet designated hospital celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, is Tarrant County's largest and busiest hospital and regional referral center. A member of Texas Health Resources, HMFW is licensed for 610 beds and provides the following services: cardiovascular; neurosciences; orthopedics and sports medicine; rehabilitation; adult critical care and neonatal intensive care; high risk and routine obstetrics and gynecology; trauma and emergency medicine; cancer care; medical/surgical; kidney transplants; occupational health; and more. For more information, please call 1 (888) 4-HARRIS, or visit www.texashealth.org/hmfw.