National Volunteer Week April 6-13

Auxilian Carl Wylie jokes with Christine Castellini who sports a new pink Prayer Shawl which was made and donated to Ozark Health by a group of volunteers in Fairfield Bay.  A group of volunteers in Fairfield Bay make hairpieces, headbands, and prayer shawls and donate them to Ozark Health for patients of clinics like Dr. Patel's.

Auxilian Carl Wylie jokes with Christine Castellini who sports a new pink Prayer Shawl which was made and donated to Ozark Health by a group of volunteers in Fairfield Bay. A group of volunteers in Fairfield Bay make hairpieces, headbands, and prayer shawls and donate them to Ozark Health for patients of clinics like Dr. Patel’s.

National Volunteer Week is April 6-13 and in light of that fact, it would be good to recognize the volunteers who make an impact in our community. There are many volunteers working in Van Buren County who deserve our recognition and gratitude, not just during this week but on a regular basis, due to their selfless donations of time and their hard work and desire to make a better community for all of us. One such volunteer organization that deserves our gratitude is the Ozark Health Auxiliary.
The Ozark Health Auxiliary is a group that volunteers at the hospital raising money for equipment and assisting patients in any way they can. You can find Auxilians working every weekday in almost every corner of the hospital, but their compassion for the patients is clearly evident on clinic days. Ozark Health currently hosts several medical clinics including Chemotherapy with Dr. Kamal Patel, Rheumatology with Dr. Ronald Rubio, Neurology with Dr. Kent Cooper and a Heart Clinic with Dr. Ben Starnes. Their patients know the Auxilians well.
A recent Chemotherapy clinic saw 91 patients come through Ozark Health’s door for treatment. One of those patients, Frank Zanoff of Fairfield Bay, came to Ozark Health for Chemotherapy for the same reason many begin going there, because it is more convenient than traveling to Little Rock. Mr. Zanoff did state that he is, “treated very nice,” during his visits to the clinic but it was almost difficult to get a straight statement from him with all the clowning around between himself and Auxilian Carl Wylie.
Ask anyone who has been through a clinic at Ozark Health and they will have many good things to say about the Auxilians and will undoubtably have a story or two to tell you about Carl Wylie. Carol Edwards of Shirley has been seeing Dr. Patel for a year and has gotten to know Carl in that time. “[Carl] keeps this place going and makes sure everyone is comfortable,” Mrs. Edwards stated. Auxilians, by nature, have never met a stranger. They are there because they want to be there. Their personalities are that of a warm, caring and inviting neighbor who makes people feel at home, no matter where they are.
Inside the Chemo Infusion Room, where patients receive their treatments, the one place you would certainly expect to find frowns on the faces of patients, one patient stated, “ You would think this place would be a torture chamber, but it’s more like a game room!” The patients recognize and appreciate the work the Auxilians are doing, as do the doctors and nurses who work the clinics. One nurse with CARTI called them, “amazing,” while another CARTI nurse went a step farther saying, “We feel like we receive special treatment every time we come here. [The Auxilians] are great. They are very compassionate.”
The job of the Auxilian, as they see it, is to assist the patients in any way they can, whether it be physically or emotionally. Auxilians like Carl each have their own particular way of contributing to this cause. Carl Wylie is a joker. He keeps everyone smiling and laughing in the one place you would think people would be the most depressed. He also consults with the patients, making sure they know exactly what is going on at all times. Carl knows what the patients need because, like many of the Auxilians, he was at one time a patient himself. Carl began receiving treatment from Dr. Patel at Ozark Health 5 years ago and was the first patient from the clinic to be declared cancer free. “My experience definitely influenced my decision to become an Auxilian,” Carl stated, “I wouldn’t do anything else. My ministry is to make one person smile every day.” Carl far exceeds his quota. All of the Auxilians put smiles on hundreds of faces of patients and medical workers every single day.
Carl is just one example of an Auxilian and Auxilians are just one example of the volunteers in our community who deserve our recognition and appreciation. If you know a volunteer who has made an impact on your life, be sure to thank them this week. If you are a volunteer in our community, from our community to you, thank you!
If you are interested in joining the Ozark Health Auxiliary contact Kristi King at 501-745-9523.

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