Southcoast Health recognizes four local volunteers with annual award

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — Southcoast Health announced its 2015 Volunteers of the Year at the Volunteer Recognition Luncheon at White’s of Westport on October 20. The four individuals honored were New Bedford’s Norma Pinto, Fall River’s Loretta Silvia, Sagamore’s Diane Cremonini and Acushnet’s Joan Cote.

“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.

Norma Pinto, a volunteer at the Gift Shop at the Center for Cancer Care in Fairhaven, has been managing the shop since it opened in June. According to Volunteer Manger John Teixeira, Norma is a model volunteer that has gone “above and beyond” in her role.

Loretta Silvia has been a volunteer with the endoscopy team at Charlton Memorial Hospital since 2012. The endoscopy staff recognized Loretta with this award for her compassion towards patients. Loretta is always there to great patients with a warm smile, and makes patients feel comfortable by bringing coffee, muffins and warm blankets, said Cynthia Turgeon, Volunteer Manager at Charlton Memorial.

Diane Cremonini, a Patient Care Representative for the past 12 years, worked as a nurse at Tobey Hospital for 23 years before retiring. Visitors are continually amazed by the level of compassion that Diane gives to patients, said Bernadine Sacchetti, Manager of Volunteer Services at Tobey. Sacchetti marvels at Diane’s empathy, saying she “quietly and patiently lets the patients know that their issue or concern really matters.” In addition to her regular volunteer work, Diane also provided over 200 cough pillows this past year for surgery patients.

Joan Cote, a veteran volunteer of more than 30 years for Southcoast VNA, brings a high degree of compassion and a special wisdom to her work. According to Lindsay Coe, manager of Bereavement and Volunteer Services for the VNA, there is no distance too far, and no assignment too challenging for Joan. She regularly takes on the most sensitive assignments — readily accepting end-of-life vigils at hospital bedsides —, assists with events and is a strong resource for the new volunteers.

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