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 DENVER, July 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Nine outstanding hospital-based

volunteer programs were honored here at the American Hospital Association's annual convention. Their efforts include using high- tech aerospace technology to meet the needs of disabled individuals; providing hot meals for the homeless on cold winter weekends; and offering peer support for hospital employees involved in critical incidents.
 The AHA Hospital Awards for Volunteer Excellence (HAVE) program was established in 1984 to recognize the significant contributions of hospital volunteers and to encourage service that greatly exceeds expectations and demonstrates innovation, creativity and leadership.
 Winning programs from across the nation are:
 Region 1 -- "Out of the Cold" Soup Kitchen, New Britain (Conn.) General Hospital.
 With unemployment on the rise and more people on the streets, the hospital's dietary department realized last winter that area soup kitchens only served hot meals on weekdays. Hospital staff volunteered and worked with local churches and other groups to cook and serve meals for area soup kitchens. Meals were served on Saturdays and Sundays to ensure that weekend needs of the homeless were met.
 Region 2 -- Strong Writers' Program, Strong Memorial Hospital, Rochester, N.Y.
 Volunteers and a professional writer team up to give patients another means of expressing and dealing with their feelings: through poetry. Patients are encouraged to put their emotions on paper and to write about their experiences. After the demonstration period, the hospital published a book of selected poems written by patients.
 Region 3 -- Service Credit Volunteer System, Greater Southeast Community Center For the Aging, Washington.
 To meet the needs of elderly residents in the community, this program provides services on a barter basis. Participants earn credits for themselves and others by performing services such as caregiver training and administrative support. Credits can then be used for respite care, transportation, personal care and help with household chores.
 Region 4 -- Project Victory, Miami Children's Hospital.
 Working with the Dade County Public School System, the hospital introduces disabled teenagers to the work environment on a volunteer basis. Students gain vocational experience in many areas including the Child Care Center, Dietary Department, Marketing, Environmental Services and Human Resources.
 Region 5 -- Critical Incident Stress Debriefing, Mercy-Memorial Hospital, Monroe, Mich.
 To reduce the stress of health care workers involved in traumatic incidents on the job, a team of representatives from the hospital, police, fire department, clergy and emergency medical services works with staff involved in critical events. The team responds at least once a month and helps employees cope with tragedy.
 Region 6 -- Patient Transportation, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha.
 Volunteers serve as a shuttle service for transplant patients and their families. Using their own vehicles, volunteers make trips between the airport, the hospital and local motels. This program provides a personal touch for patients while taking the worry and cost out of transportation arrangements for patients and family members.
 Region 7 -- "Hearts and Hands" Hospice Volunteers, Memorial Hospital, Dumas, Texas.
 Volunteers raise money and give their time to keep their hospice up and running in an isolated rural section of the Texas panhandle. Fifty-six individuals (56 hearts and 112 hands) come together to assist hospice patients and their families. Through fund-raising activities, the volunteers help reduce the financial burdens for the patients and families served through this program.
 Region 8 -- "Christmas Card Project," Children's Cancer Center at Phoenix Children's Hospital.
 This program showcases artwork created by young cancer patients and raises funds for pediatric oncology services and research at the same time. Patients' drawings are made into holiday cards which are sold throughout the community. Businesses can even commission custom designs for corporate cards. To date, nearly $300,000 has been raised.
 Region 9 -- TRW/Daniel Freeman Hospital Partnership, Daniel Freeman Memorial Hospital, Inglewood, Calif.
 Engineers and scientists at TRW volunteer their time and talent to provide practical low-cost solutions to the physical limitations of the disabled. Working with rehabilitation therapists, TRW adapts existing technology to individual disabilities. Projects include designing a biofeedback system for a patient with an abnormal gait and modifying a hearing aid for someone with limited hearing at high frequencies.
 The HAVE program is administered by the AHA's American Society of Directors of Volunteer Services. Final selections of winners are determined by AHA's board of trustees.
 The AHA, a not-for-profit organization, serves as a national advocate for hospitals and the patients they serve, provides education and information for its members and informs the public about hospitals and health care issues.
 -0- 7/29/92
 /NOTE: For additional information on any of these programs, contact the AHA department of media relations, 312-280-6129.
 Awards were given in each of 9 geographic regions. They are comprised of the following states: Region 1: Conn., Maine, Mass., N.H., R.I., and Vt. Region 2: N.J., N.Y., and Pa. Region 3: Del., D.C., Ky., Md., N.C., Va., and W.Va. Region 4: Ala., Fla., Ga., Miss., P.R., S.C., and Tenn. Region 5: Ill., Ind., Mich., Ohio, and Wisc. Region 6: Iowa, Kan., Minn., Mo., Neb., N.D., and S.D. Region 7: Ark., La., Okla., and Texas. Region 8: Ariz., Colo., Idaho, Mont., N.M., Utah, and Wyo. Region 9: Alaska, Calif., Hawaii, Nev., Ore., and Wash./
 /CONTACT: Donna Gaidamak, convention press room, 303-640-8434; or AHA Media Relations, 312-280-6129/ CO: American Hospital Association ST: Colorado IN: HEA SU:

TW -- DC001 -- 4394 07/29/92 07:30 EDT
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