Sunday, 25 February 2024

Adventist Health Clear Lake celebrates volunteer service

Adventist Health Clear Lake Volunteer Leadership and Volunteers celebrating Volunteer Week 2019. Courtesy photo.

CLEARLAKE, Calif. – Adventist Health Clear Lake’s physicians, nurses and other staff work alongside a dedicated team of men and women who serve patients and visitors as volunteers promoting healing and wellness.

Adventist Health Clear Lake recognized its volunteer team during National Volunteer Appreciation Week, April 8 to 12.

Cumulatively, Adventist Health Clear Lake’s volunteers have served a combined 63,144 hours, the equivalent of more than 31 full-time employees working for one year.

The volunteers serve throughout the hospital and outpatient centers and are most visible at the check-in desk, where they greet patients and help them find their destination within the hospital or clinic.

“The feeling you get in a patient room taking them from a level of anxiety to feeling much better. When you hear a thank you from a patient or when you hear from a doctor ‘Good job, Vale,’ it makes you feel like an asset. It’s all about putting a smile on someone’s face,” said Vale Hanzel, Emergency Department volunteer.“

Hanzel exemplifies the heartfelt impact a volunteer can create for our patients and visitors when they arrive at our hospital and clinics, according to Katie Sust, director of patient experience. “That is why we are so grateful to have such compassionate and service-minded individuals as part of our team.”

Sust and the team at Adventist Health Clear Lake planned a full week of activities to celebrate the dedicated service of the volunteer team, beginning with the annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon on April 9 at the Lake County Campus of Woodland Community College, where each volunteer was honored for their hours of service in 2018 and received a special gift.

Festivities continued with Coffee and Goodies on April 10, in the Mountain View Café and concluded with dinner at the hospital’s Mountain View Café on April 11.

Ron Boyce is one of the newest members of the volunteer team. ”When folks hug your neck, or when you talk to someone that is down and use your words to turn their day around. That is where the reward comes in. I thank God He gives me the ability to look at the positive.”

Shirley Knobels and Lois Meisenbach are best friends and long-time volunteers at the hospital.
“Shirley and I entertain! It’s like a dinner show,” Meisenbach said.

Knobels agreed. “You try to smile because you just don’t know why they are here. It’s very rewarding to be there for people.”

Knobels is retiring from volunteer service at the hospital after nearly 30 years, to move closer to family, and takes a little piece of our heart with her.

National Volunteer Week, April 8 to 12, celebrated the work of volunteers nationwide. Established in 1974 by Presidential Proclamation, National Volunteer Week recognizes volunteers and urges a culture of service.

If you are interested in volunteering at St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake, contact Katie Sust, director of patient experience, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 707-995-5618, or visit

Shirley Knobels and Lois Meisenbach at the 2019 Adventist Health Clear Lake Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon on Tuesday, April 9, 2019, in Clearlake, Calif. Courtesy photo.

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