Southcoast Health recognizes four local volunteers with annual award

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — Southcoast Health today announced its 2017 Volunteers of the Year. The four individuals honored with this recognition are New Bedford’s Michael Araujo, Fall River’s Barbara Bell, Fairhaven’s Denise Lajeunesse and Wareham’s Diane O’Brien.

“We are fortunate to have over 500 volunteers who tirelessly help care for our patients in many different ways, and our four Volunteers of the Year exemplify that generous spirit and commitment,” said Jack Dresser, Senior Vice President and Chief Philanthropy Officer of Southcoast Health, who oversees volunteer services.

Michael Araujo, of New Bedford, is the 2017 Volunteer of the Year at St. Luke’s Hospital. Mike has volunteered since 2001 and helps with many duties throughout the hospital. He maintains the plants in the lobby, assists with mass mailings, delivers packages and is counted on for many other projects.

Barbara Bell, of Fall River, began as a volunteer at Charlton Memorial Hospital in 1996. She is a greeter in the Emergency Department, providing a pleasant environment with her warm welcome and seasonal decorations for our patients and visitors. In addition, she generously offers a welcome snack for staff to take during their busy day.

Denise Lajeunesse, of Fairhaven, is the Visiting Nurse Association’s Hospice Volunteer of the Year. She provides Reiki and music therapy for patients in hospice care. The Reiki sessions help to reduce stress and anxiety, while enhancing relaxation and bringing about a sense of peace. Denise has been a volunteer since 2013.

Diane O’Brien, of Wareham, is Tobey Hospital’s Volunteer of the Year. She has been volunteering since January. Her primary role is as a Patient Care Representative twice a week, and when needed, she also greets visitors at the Patient Information Desk. The Volunteer Team is graced with her love for what she does.

To find out more about volunteering at a Southcoast Health hospital or care center, call 508-973-7038 or visit southcoast.org. For more information on becoming a volunteer with the Southcoast VNA, call 508-973-3219.