Celebrating Volunteers


Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price joined JPS Health Network leadership on Tuesday to honor JPS volunteers, who contribute thousands of hours a year to patients, from newborns with no one to hold them to older patients facing death alone.

"Thank you for being committed to JPS and for being committed to Fort Worth. We appreciate what you do," Price told volunteers at the 2013 Spirit of JPS Volunteer Recognition Lunch, where chaplain Ernie Beshear was named Volunteer of the Year.

Beshear, known to many as "Mr. Ernie," is a volunteer chaplain who reports for duty before dawn to pray with patients preparing for surgery. "He is an amazing man and disciple," said Nicole Farrar, a nurse in the Pre-op Unit, whose testimony was among many read aloud at the celebration. "He shows compassion and empathy to everyone without exception."

In Labor and Delivery, he "is a blessing to our department," said nurse Melissa Holden. "I can feel the calmness that overcomes the patients when he prays with them."

Awards also were presented to:

• Pedro Conde, who gave 366 hours of service in his first year as a JPS volunteer and was recognized at a recent Leadership Connection meeting for adept handling of a high-stress encounter with a patient in crisis. He received the Spirit of JPS Sunshine Award for his service at the Patient Care Pavilion information desk and in Surgical Services.

• Dana Travitz, a nursing student and intern who revived Baby Rockers, volunteers who provide newborns with physical contact, known to affect growth and development. Yvonne Kyle, manager of Volunteer Services, said Baby Rockers was in hiatus largely for lack of someone qualified to oversee it, until "a special employee stepped up." Travitz, an LVN finishing an online bridge program for her RN, was named Employee Volunteer of the Year.

• Mary Brejot, a former teacher and librarian, was named Behind the Scenes Volunteer of the Year for her determination to provide JPS patients with something to read. She can be found most days pushing her book cart through the halls and is known for accommodating special requests, including buying newspapers for patients who request them.

• Gordon Adams and his squadron of volunteers were awarded a special "Hard Hat Award," added this year to recognize the "JPOC Heroes," a dozen volunteers who logged 150 hours over three weeks helping patients navigate the construction maze between buildings at 1350 and 1400 S. Main St. "Rain or shine, they were there," said Kyle. In addition to Adams, "Hard Hat" recipients were Ann Freeman, Derrick Shaw, Ernie and Deonne Beshear, Dulce Mora, Irma Martinez, Sean Garner, Jonathan Wilson, Cecilia Albarran, and JPS team members Latisha Wright and Dan Hinkle.

Kyle was recognized, herself, for her service as manager of Volunteer Services. She is leaving that position to become a coordinator for the Patient Experience. "She has a heart for our patients," said Jill "J.R." Labbe, vice president of Communication and Community Affairs.


View Photos from the event. 


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