Serving with Heart

Posted: Mar 02, 2021

The Volunteer Guild at Ascension Sacred Heart Emerald Coast is devoted to serving the community through substantial support of the hospital’s mission. The Guild is a Christ-centered organization with values that mirror those of the Daughters of Charity, founders of the original Sacred Heart Hospital. Their vision was to provide healthcare to all, with emphasis on the poor and most vulnerable. Guild volunteers consider it a privilege to help carry on this century-old ministry of hope and healing.

Auxiliary volunteers can be found giving personalized assistance with a smile, and compassionate reassurance to patients throughout twenty-four areas of the hospital. Approximately 500,000 hours of service have been donated since the facility opened its doors. The Guild’s presence is acknowledged as a significant factor in ASHEC’S achievement of maintaining patient satisfaction scores ranking among the highest in the nation. 

Additionally, the Guild has provided philanthropic contributions to the hospital in excess of $800,000, raised through membership dues, donations, the Guild Gift Shop, and sponsorship of fund-raising events such as the annual Emerald Coast Duck Regatta. Their charitable giving has helped make new and expanded healthcare services possible to meet the community’s needs. For example, the creation of the Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Center’s SNOEZELEN® Multi-Sensory Environment (MSE) room was funded by the Guild in 2018. It provides therapeutic assistance to individuals with special needs and challenging conditions, such as autism. Young patients can enjoy a vast range of sensory experiences that enhance learning and treatment goals.

The Guild also provides scholarships and other funding resources to medical staff members seeking to further their healthcare education. And it assists with prescription funding for patients unable to afford their medicine.

Ascension Sacred Heart Emerald Coast was built in response to the healthcare needs of a growing region. When the hospital opened its doors in January 2003, the Volunteer Guild was ready to serve. Twenty-five women attended its first organizational meeting, and shortly thereafter Jane Carron was nominated President and a Board of Directors was formed. Today, the organization consists of eight Executive Board Members, nine Standing Committees’ Chairpersons, and 175 active volunteers. Members of the community are encouraged to join the Guild and lend their volunteer skills to its activities.

The Volunteer Guild at Ascension Sacred Heart Emerald Coast are dedicated to the support of the hospital and its mission in every way, but particularly on the financial needs of various departments in the hospital and the educational needs of the medical team.  Guild President, Judy Brock states, “Each year the Guild is focused on fundraising to help fulfill the needs of the hospital.  Once funds are raised, it is our honor to have various departments present to us their needs which are not fulfilled through capital projects.  And the difficult part of the process is to select the projects we feel most need to be funded to meet the medical needs of our Emerald Coast community.  Over the last few years, we have supported cancer treatment needs, rehabilitation services for children, and needs of the Family Birthplace and others.  What an honor it is for us to serve Ascension Sacred Heart Emerald Coast”.