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Spirit of Service Exemplified by U.S. Veterans at NVRH

Sunday, November 11, 2018

From volunteers to staff members, U.S. veterans work and volunteer at NVRH

As a community health system, NVRH has a strong history of service – service to patients, service to visitors, and service to the community. Counted among those providing the service – clinicians, staff, volunteers, and corporators – are U.S. veterans. They responded to a call to honorably serve their country in the U.S. Armed Forces and, now, individuals such as NVRH volunteer and U.S. veteran Joe Moritz, continue in a spirit of service at NVRH.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Joe chose to join the U.S. Navy after hearing about his friend’s older brother’s experience as a submariner in World War II. Joe served on the UUS Catfish during the Korean War.

“At times, it was like living in a movie – almost surreal,” Joe said, as he spoke of his time in the Navy, which brought him along the waters of Korea, Siberia, and the Diomede Islands. “I helped operate the stern planes, which control the angle and direction of the submarine.”

Upon returning home from service, Joe earned a degree, like many veterans through the GI Bill, for chemical engineering, and later married and welcomed a son and daughter. After a couple of moves between Vermont and Philadelphia over the following years, Joe has been living in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont since the 1990s.

“I was a city boy that is now happily living as a country boy,” Joe said of the move from urban Philadelphia to the rural NEK. After retiring from full-time work two decades ago, Joe has stayed busy taking various part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities, and leisure activities, such as golf. Two years ago, Joe decided to become an NVRH volunteer.

“I knew a lot of people who worked at NVRH – from golf league, from my other jobs and from living in a small town,” Joe said. “I’m a people person, so I thought volunteering at the hospital would be enjoyable and a way to give back to the community.”

From greeting and assisting hospital visitors with wayfinding to making regular rounds for hospital department mail pickup, Joe is one of more than 100 NVRH volunteers who play a crucial role in the patient, visitor, and staff experience at NVRH.

Under the guidance of NVRH Director of Volunteer Services Pat Forest, volunteers not only assist with wayfinding and mail delivery, but they play music in waiting rooms, run the hospital gift shop, make prayer shawls for patients, decorate the hospital during the holidays, and much more. They are amongst the first faces and friendly smiles individuals see upon entering the hospital – all in service to people, the community, and the NVRH organization.

 “The atmosphere is pleasant, enjoyable, and fun. There’s a sense of warmth and good, positive vibes at NVRH,” Joe said. “[The staff and patients] seem very grateful for the work we do as volunteers.”

From sailing the seas in the U.S. Navy decades ago to now providing service to his local community hospital, Joe exemplifies a spirit of service that runs deep in the hearts and minds of many of our local veterans.

On this Veterans Day, and throughout the year, we extend heartfelt gratitude to U.S. veterans and their families, and thank them for continuing their spirit of service through their work at NVRH and for our local communities.

 


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Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital
PO Box 905 1315 Hospital Drive
St. Johnsbury, Vermont 05819
802-748-8141
TTY/TTD, Dial 711
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