Health Care

Health Care Heroes: Volunteers

By Staff Reports, posted Oct 18, 2019

The Volunteer category honors a volunteer at a health care provider or other health-related organization who is considered exemplary by people within those organizations.



ORGANIZATION: Lower Cape Fear Hospice
“Columbia ‘Otelia’ Blanks has been an outstanding volunteer with Lower Cape Fear Hospice for more than five years. Born and raised in Columbus County, she is a member of the St. James Missionary Baptist Church in Lake Waccamaw and is a Waccamaw Siouan Native American.
“LCFH is blessed to have a number of wonderful volunteers, but few can compare to Otelia’s abounding compassion, her unparalleled commitment and her giving spirit. She willingly serves our organization and our patients/families in a variety of ways each week, including working at the reception desk at the Angel House (LCFH inpatient unit) in Whiteville two days a week. In between visitors, Otelia will even water the plants, straighten up the kitchen, pick up trash and help with administrative tasks.
“She volunteers her time to visit hospice patients weekly at Premier Living (nursing home) in Lake Waccamaw, where she also assists with activities. For instance, when it is hair styling day, Otelia will take the time to roll each and every resident to the salon and back.
“Otelia also makes visits to 2-3 hospice patients each week in their homes. Not minding considerable travel times, she is willing to serve families in Columbus and Bladen counties.”
- Renee Mandarano


ORGANIZATION: Pender Memorial Hospital
“Logan Jones has been a Junior Volunteer at Pender Memorial Hospital since June 2016 and has accumulated over 500 volunteer hours just at the hospital alone. She is a member of the Duplin Health Sciences Academy and has served over 800 volunteer hours within Pender and Duplin counties. She has had such a powerful impact at our hospital, and our staff, patients and residents are so proud of all her hard work.
“After Hurricane Florence, she went to Wallace-Rose Hill, her high school, to volunteer her time at the shelter. The shelter quickly turned into a distribution center and she became the co-coordinator and social media manager. Within three days, the other co-coordinator left and she landed the coordinator role, at 17 years old! She secured helicopters to deliver supplies, including Pender County, where flooding had hit late in the game.
“She managed a team of over 50 volunteers that worked alongside her to secure and distribute needed supplies after the devastation of Florence.
“Logan is a recent graduate of Wallace-Rose Hill High School Class of 2019 and and graduated 3rd out of her class. In the fall, she will be attending Appalachian State University in the medical field.”
- Tracy Saieed


“Nona Rogers is a hidden hero. She volunteers in the New Hanover Regional Medical Center Surgical Pavilion, where she has been helping patients, families and staff since 2012. Nona goes above and beyond on every shift to make sure all those who come in contact with her feel cared for, comforted and cheered by her presence. She does this without expecting anything in return. The joy of helping people is her reward.
“She creates positive relationships with everyone she meets. In one instance, Nona befriended a husband and wife team of nurses in the Ambulatory Surgery Unit. She built a friendship with them during her weekly four-hour shift. When the couple had twins, the person they trusted to care for their babies when they returned to work was Nona.
“Nona is a retired preschool aide. In another instance, Nona came up with an idea to have the preschool children make homemade cards for patients undergoing surgery. She reached out to her former colleagues at the day care and they quickly agreed. Nona spearheaded the effort and within a few weeks, hundreds of cards were delivered to nervous patients.
“Nona is beloved by her fellow volunteers, the staff who work with her, and the patients and families she helps.”
- Carla Randall

Read more about all of the 2019 Health Care Heroes finalists here.

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