Barbara Woodland, Terry King and Richard Lucht earned the Governor’s Award for 2020. They each volunteer at VMC in a number of capacities and have adapted to changes in volunteering throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Former Vidant team member, current volunteer
For Barbra Woodland, that meant a move to the department from which she retired.
“I feel especially privileged that my former supervisor here at the hospital had her secretary call me and ask if I would come and help with screening at the rehab center,” Woodland said. “When I can help, I’ve always been a team player so that works for me.”
Woodland began working for Vidant Health in December of 2005 and retired 10 years later as the Rehabilitation Residency program coordinator. She said she isn’t the kind of person who could sit at home after retiring, so she needed to get involved in something.
She’d had experience volunteering before and decided to get involved at VMC.
“Many people think you just volunteer when you retire,” Woodland said, “but I used to live around the corner from a neighborhood church in the inner city so I have a lot of good experiences, I would say. Experiences about meeting different people and treating people with respect and courtesy. Just because they’re in need of something, not feeling that great or have medical problems, we need to help them.”
Woodland said the recognition for her means that someone appreciates what she is doing for her community.
Retired minister and stroke survivor gives back
Terry King is familiar with this recognition as he received the award in 2014 as well. King, who was a minister in his working years, suffered a stroke in 2009 and stopped working full-time. With encouragement from his wife, a nurse at VMC, and his father, King decided to step into volunteering as a new way of continuing to serve others.
“I came in here as green as grass and said, ‘here I am, I want to serve’ and I have never looked back,” King said.
King said his interactions with patients, families and Vidant team members keep him coming back. He recalled times helping family members of patients who don’t speak English and helping patients navigate the hospital. He said the smiles on the faces of those he can help are better than any payment he could receive for the work.
He believes his time as a minister has prepared him for this chapter of his life and helps him in his interactions with patients and families.
“It’s helped me because I understand the human experience. You just take people from where they are, and you don’t try to change them – just try to work with them and help them see the benefit of changes,” King said. “I’ve worked with people who are very upset and frustrated and being able to diffuse that situation just by listening and talking normally and paying attention and being caring, that’s life.”
King also said that he enjoys feeling like a part of the Vidant team as a volunteer and the teams at VMC have made him feel welcomed and appreciated.
New accolades for former Volunteer of the Year
Richard Lucht was named Volunteer of the Year two years ago and received the state recognition for the first time this past year.
After retiring from East Carolina University, where he taught piano in the School of Music, he mentioned a desire to get involved in volunteering to a friend who suggested VMC. Six years later, he said he knows how important volunteering has been for him.
“I keep reinventing myself and I think one has to do that to find meaning in their life,” Lucht said. “A lot of people get very depressed about retirement but I found it a very exciting time. That’s all part of that – it helps keep me vital and it’s a very positive part of my retirement life. That just adds to the aspect of my being.”
Lucht said his family has been service-oriented for a long time and recognized his mother and brother for being influential in that space. He also said he has several nieces who are physician’s assistants and doctors.
As a retired professor, he said it is very exciting to him to be around a teaching hospital where many medical students are learning their craft – one of the many rewards for volunteering at his local hospital.
“Getting involved and meeting the diverse population we serve out there is very rewarding to me – the patients and also the bright, young college students that are working in some aspect of the medical field,” Lucht said. “It’s meeting people and giving back to a community that has been very kind to me and my family here.”
Vidant is proud of the volunteers that help us serve a region. The selflessness and passion these volunteers and so many others show each day is an inspiration and an important part of Vidant’s mission to improve the health and well-being of eastern North Carolina.
Get involved today
If you would like to join Barbara, Terry, Richard and the other amazing volunteers at Vidant Health, visit VidantHealth.com/Volunteers/.