Chicago Heights Rotary Club Awards Franciscan Health Volunteer for Over 20 Years of Service
CHICAGO HEIGHTS, Illinois - For more than 20 years, Glenna Yates worked in the Franciscan Health Emergency Department Chicago Heights.
She would bring comfort to patients and their families in that exceedingly stressful environment. Glenna would bring food and blankets to patients, attend to the needs of family members and serve as a sympathetic ear for patients and their families.
The long-time Crete resident was a patient representative. She was also a volunteer.
That's why the Rotary Club of Chicago Heights presented Glenna (pictured with Franciscan Health's Sister M. Ruth Luthman, OSF, (left), and Sister M. Rachel Dinet, OSF) with its prestigious Community Paul Harris Fellow Award for leadership in volunteer service in July.
"When you see Glenna coming, you knew everything is going to be okay," said Chicago Heights Rotarian Joyce Michael. "She is great when nobody is there that you knew. She will comfort you and show that she really cares."
Glenna started volunteering in the Emergency Department of what was then called St. James Hospital in 1993. She was the first-ever patient representative to serve in the hospital's Emergency Department.
She also has the distinction of working for her daughter, Karen Yates, the Franciscan Health Director of Mission and Volunteer Services.
"My mother is compassionate, empathetic and supportive," Karen said. "There is great value in having a friendly face in a non-clinical role providing comfort measures in such a stressful environment. She would listen to ER patients and have a calming effect on them."
The Community Paul Harris Fellow Award is the highest recognition the Rotary Club bestows upon individuals who exemplify the club's motto, "Service Above Self." Named in honor of Rotary International founder Paul Harris, the award recognizes those who have made a positive, lasting change in the quality of life in their communities, and have shown leadership in volunteer service.
"I had no idea that I would receive such an award," Glenna said. "It's a great honor, but the real reward is working with such wonderful people and helping people in need. I have loved every minute of it."
Although she no longer works as an Emergency Department patient representative, she continues to volunteer in the surgery waiting room at Franciscan Health.
Thanks, in part, to Glenna's impact as a patient representative, Franciscan Health now has patient representatives stationed in all of the inpatient units, as well as the Emergency Departments on both the Chicago Heights and Olympia Fields campuses.