During National Volunteer Appreciation Week, Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital would like to thank the nearly 120 men and women of the Auxiliary for their outstanding dedication and contributions that make a difference each and every day in the lives of patients and guests at the hospital. Since its opening in 1983, the hospital has watched the bond between its staff and devoted volunteers grow into a lifetime of friendship. Members of the Auxiliary have provided more than 375,000 hours of service over the years and helped make their community and the hospital a better place in many ways, such as escorting patients, performing clerical duties, staffing the gift shop, designing craft projects during the holidays, awarding scholarships to students eager to pursue a health care career, and lending a helping hand in the intensive care unit, pharmacy or emergency room.
Three volunteers who truly exemplify the willingness of every member of the Auxiliary to go above and beyond to help those around them are Myrna Wansik, Phyllis Dominik and Pauline Bankston. All three are charter members of the Auxiliary who together have served more than 27,000 hours of service for the hospital.
Pauline Bankston heads the Baby Cap Committee for the Volunteer Auxiliary, a small group of volunteers who spend hours upon hours sewing, decorating, and folding tiny embellished hats for each baby born at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital. Each cap receives personal attention from Pauline and the volunteers on her committee as they adorn them with coordinating pom-poms and decals to represent the different holidays and seasons in the year.
“As a hospital employee, former patient, and someone who works closely with the Volunteer Auxiliary, I truly can attest to the amazing role that these women play in the Cy-Fair Hospital culture,” explains Nadia Saqr, marketing manager and volunteer services coordinator for the northwest Houston hospital. “I cannot tell you how touching it was to receive an adorable baby cap for my son when he was born. Not only is it a special keepsake of this memorable event, but it helped keep him warm and cozy while he was in the neonatal intensive care unit. Pauline and her team put tremendous care and attention into the making of the caps.” Pauline recently received her service pin for having reached over 11,000 hours of volunteer service.
Phyllis Dominik will soon be joining Pauline Bankston in this service milestone, having volunteered over almost 11,000 hours as well. Phyllis can regularly be seen throughout the week helping visitors in the gift shop find the right gift for their family member or friend that is in the hospital. She works tirelessly behind the scenes to support the gift shop’s team assisting with merchandise purchases and inventory management, and is always willing to help train new volunteers that come onboard. “Phyllis’ dedication to the gift shop and to the overall volunteer program goes beyond all bounds. In her role she serves patients, visitors, employees and fellow volunteers alike and all benefit from her generosity,” says Lisa White, Associate Administrator.
When not busy in the gift shop, Phyllis enjoys working on other projects for the Volunteer Auxiliary, including taking part in the Crafts Committee, which is a group of volunteers that creates special craft projects to be given to patients that are hospitalized over the holidays, and in the Baby Cap Committee.
Myrna Wansik is one of the friendly faces you see when you enter the hospital. She volunteers at the Information Desk and helps patients and visitors find their way around the hospital. Coming to the hospital can be a trying situation for many, but compassionate volunteers like Myrna help provide a comforting smile and caring gesture when it is needed most. “Myrna Wansik’s kind personality can really help put you at ease and make you feel welcome,” added Lisa White. “As a mainstay of our hospital for over a quarter of a century, Myrna has helped create the very compassionate, friendly atmosphere that Cy-Fair is known for in the community.”
All three ladies have expressed over the years how lucky they feel having met so many people and made so many close friends by volunteering. They serve as amazing role models for other volunteers, and have a special place in the hearts of hospital patients, visitors and staff.
Lisa White is one of the original hospital employees and vividly recalls that first hospital orientation back in 1983. “I began my career here overseeing public relations and volunteer services. My first day of work I had a list of 30 names and phone numbers of individuals in the community who had called while the hospital was under construction inquiring about volunteer opportunities. I was shocked that people had already called to volunteer and we were not even open yet! Many were volunteers in the Texas Medical Center and were excited to finally have a hospital in their community. Pauline, Phyllis and Myrna were among the first that called and attended our first volunteer orientation only one month after the hospital’s opening.”
“I relied as much on them to build the program as they did me. This was an exceptional group of individuals who gave so much of themselves for the good of their community. That first group was small and to think that almost 30 years later these ladies are still here is amazing. I feel so blessed to be associated with them for all these years. It is this same group that hosted my first baby shower back in 1986 and brought meals to my home when pregnancy complications kept me at home a couple months. We truly are a family,” adds Lisa White.
Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital is very fortunate to have a team of devoted volunteers to help meet the health care needs of the community. Volunteers have the opportunity to experience and explore the health care environment by learning new skills and strengthening old ones. For more information about volunteering, visit the hospital website at www.CyFairHospital.com or call 281-897-3186.