Boynton Beach, Florida, resident Connie Pierce has been president of the Volunteer Auxiliary at Bethesda Hospital for the past five years. She works with Lynn Guelzow, director of volunteer services, and the 650 volunteers that devote their time to Bethesda Hospital East, Bethesda Hospital West and Bethesda Health City. Also included in that number are 125 high school students.
“We have 675 medical staff members and employ 2,700 people, with volunteers working in nearly every department throughout our hospital system,” Guelzow said. “Connie utilizes her considerable executive skills as a former home loan vice president of Washington Mutual Bank to lead the Bethesda Auxiliary.”
Pierce moved from her native Kalamazoo, Michigan, to Florida in 1969.
Boynton Beach residents Betty and Warren Klein, who have been married for 63 years, moved from Buffalo 25 years ago. They have volunteered for the past five years. Warren Klein, 87, a retired entrepreneur who owned three Midas Muffler franchise stores, mans the Surgical Waiting Room desk.
“I try to make the people in the waiting room feel comfortable and ease their anxiety because I’ve been in their shoes. By talking to them, I can help them feel better,” he said.
Betty Klein, 84, raised four daughters. The Warrens have eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren. She works at the Outpatient Pavilion entrance with other volunteers to help patients in and out of the hospital.
Guelzow said, “All volunteers are members of the Auxiliary of Bethesda Hospital. The auxiliary oversees the two hospital gift shops and the Bethesda Bargain Box, our thrift store in Delray Beach.
“In the volunteer office, we treat each volunteer as a person, recognizing that we are all different and that each individual has a wonderful skill (or two) that can really make a difference for our patients and visitors,” Guelzow said. “Whether it’s escorting a patient for their test, filling a patient’s water pitcher or working in the gift shop, our volunteers help make our patients and visitors feel welcome. They’re true ambassadors for the hospital and in the community.”