We recently announced a collaborative partnership to integrate members and resources of the Association of Health Care Volunteer Resource Professionals (AHVRP) into our patient experience community at The Beryl Institute. Previously part of the American Hospital Association (AHA), AHVRP has a 52-year history supporting healthcare volunteer services, retail operations and related support services disciplines.
AHA notified members in April that it would seek a new home for AHVRP that offered better alignment to its ongoing mission while also supporting its history and legacy. We were excited to step up and offer that home. We believe volunteer professionals and the volunteers they oversee have a tremendous impact on the patient experience. In fact, it is not unusual for a volunteer to be the first and last person a patient sees during a hospital stay.
Volunteers carry great responsibility as a critical contact point for those engaging in healthcare, and they help fill the needs of organizations in expanding capacity in a lean operating world. This requires a perspective on both the value of volunteers as well as the means in which they are strategically deployed, including how they are recruited, developed, evaluated and supported.
AHVRP’s community of over 1,100 members are now part of the Institute, and AHVRP resources, including its webinar archive, publications and learning programs, are in the process of being incorporated into our patient experience library. Moving forward, we will work closely with members of the Volunteer Professionals Community to understand their challenges and opportunities and develop new resources to support their unique roles while reinforcing the tremendous contribution of volunteer services on patient experience.
In addition, we are excited to introduce a special interest community for Volunteer Professionals to support the ongoing sharing and networking of AHVRP members and others leading volunteer programs throughout the healthcare continuum. AHVRP’s annual conference will be integrated into our annual Patient Experience Conference, offering a dedicated learning track for volunteer professionals along with networking and connection opportunities.
While we are committed to preserving the history and legacy of AHVRP, we also acknowledge that the transition comes at a very challenging time for healthcare overall as well as for volunteers. The COVID pandemic has caused many policy changes and raised concerns about how and when organizations can safely bring back volunteers. Like other areas in healthcare, volunteer teams have been challenged in new ways by this pandemic, and we look forward to providing resources and connections to help volunteer professionals navigate the new waters.
As we introduce and embrace a new focus on volunteerism, I’d like to share our fundamental commitments at the Institute. These statements outline the approach on which we have built this organization over the past ten years as well as the approach in which we will integrate the work of volunteer leaders.
As a community, we commit to:
Elevating the importance of experience across all care settings
Generating, collecting and sharing ideas and proven practices
Engaging a broad range of voices and views
Putting patients, families and care partners first
Recognizing the value of the entire healthcare team
Reinforcing experience encompasses quality, safety, service, cost and outcomes
In welcoming many new members from AHVRP, I am also reminded of our purpose at the Institute. We are committed to changing healthcare by advancing an unwavering commitment to the human experience. We hope our support and partnership with the Volunteer Professionals Community will elevate their contributions to that vision and enable their role to have a vital and lasting impact.
Stacy Palmer, CPXP
Senior Vice President & COO
The Beryl Institute