Portage Health thanks volunteers

HOUGHTON – Volunteer Mary Ellen Shane gets to work at Portage Health at 5:30 a.m. each day and stays until sometime in the afternoon, but the 86-year-old doesn’t mind the hours at all.

Shane and nine other volunteers at the hospital, were honored for their hours of service during the Portage Health 22nd annual volunteer recognition dinner Tuesday at the Magnuson Hotel Franklin Square Inn in Houghton. Some of the hospital’s health care education scholarship winners were recognized, also.

Shane, who has completed 11,000 hours of volunteering at the hospital, said she started volunteering at Portage Health in 2007 after moving to the area from Detroit, but that wasn’t the start of her volunteering efforts.

“I have volunteered since 1990,” she said.

Shane said she volunteered at Detroit Children’s Hospital, Children’s Home in Detroit and she read to blind people at Wayne State University.

Her job at Portage Health is to shred confidential documents no longer needed, Shane said, and she often starts as early as 5:30 a.m.

“I can’t leave any of that paper,” she said. “I have to shred it all.”

Jim Bogan, president and CEO of Portage Health, said volunteers are vital for the functioning of the hospital.

“Everyone is on the same team,” he said.

Before the volunteers received their hours of service pins, Nancy Fenton, of the Portage Auxiliary scholarship committee, presented the auxiliary scholarship recipients.

Fenton said the funding for the scholarships comes from the auxiliary’s Lights of Love Christmas tree light donation program. Donors purchase lights on the hospitals Christmas tree in honor of or in memory of someone special to them.

Stanley Vitton introduced the recipients of the one-time scholarship named in honor of his mother, Margaret B. Vitton, who was a nurse for 42 years, and who passed away in January.

Vitton said his mother, who at one time was a nursing supervisor, had as a philosophy anyone, regardless of position, should be willing to “do whatever has to be done” in the hospital.

Barbara Worrall, auxiliary president, reported the amounts of money raised from the auxilliary’s gift shop in the hospital, $40,000; Lights of Love, more than $3,000; fashion show, $800; book sales, $1,200; and bake sale, $500.

Worrall said the money raised by the various auxiliary efforts helps patients and their families and residents of PortagePointe Senior Living Community.

Shane said for her job of shredding documents, she has to go to many departments in the hospital building everyday.

“I make 38 stops within the hospital,” she said.

That effort doesn’t bother her, Shane said, and she hopes she will continue to do the job.

“I hope a long time more,” she said. “I really love it. I think it keeps me young.”