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2009 Tracy Bleyler and Lauren Guay

Each year, the D-H Auxiliary Board presents an award to outstanding volunteers. This award for excellence in volunteering is given in honor of Edith Amsden, a dedicated and devoted volunteer at Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital for nearly 50 years. Volunteers nominated for this award set a high standard of volunteerism with their loyalty and dedication, which provides inspiration for other volunteers to follow. This year two volunteers were selected. The commitment, reliability, enthusiasm and work ethic of these two young women is truly inspirational to us all.

Tracy Bleyler

Since 2001, Tracy Bleyler has volunteered in the volunteer office on Monday and Friday mornings from 7:30 to 10 a.m. She creates admission packets for four different nursing units, assembles packets for the Prenatal Clinic, and for Bingo. She often works so quickly it is difficult to keep up with her. She collates thousands of packets of various types each year. Because of her dedication, the staff on the nursing units are able to devote their time to patient care, instead of collating.

"One of Tracy's jobs is to collate admission packs for ICCU. These admission packs include 25 pieces that must be put in the correct order. Putting these packs together takes a lot of concentration, patience, and stamina to assemble. Tracy collates at least 100 packets a week, we really depend on her!" staff member Edna Ollis told the volunteer office.

Bleyler is also an athlete, competing in several sports for the Special Olympics. In 2007, having placed first in her division, she traveled to Shanghai, China to represent the state of New Hampshire and U.S. as a competitor in bowling at the World Summer Olympics. Bleyler went on to win a bronze medal for her bowling skill.

When the Olympians were asked to write a statement of their proudest moments, Bleyler said: her high school graduation, winning gold medals in 1985 and 1989 for figure skating, and her DHMC volunteer 1,000 hour pin! She since has since accumulated more than 2,500 hours of service to DHMC.

Bleyler also participates in People First, a self-advocacy group that promotes recognizing the person first before the physical or cognitive challenges they may face. In the past few years, she has testified at committee hearings of the N.H. Legislature on issues affecting her such as the merger of UDS and the Sullivan County developmental disability agency into Pathways, budget cuts, and more. She's attended their annual conferences a couple of times, Indianapolis being the most recent. Until recently, Tracy was the president of the local chapter.

Lauren Guay

Lauren Guay has volunteered since 2003, beginning when she was a high school student. She is extremely committed to volunteering three days a week at DHMC, having accumulated 2,500 hours of service to DHMC. On Monday mornings and Tuesday afternoons, she helps stock shelves in the Food and Nutrition office and prepares food items for the kitchens on inpatient units and clinics. On Monday afternoons, she travels downtown to assist staff at the Women's Health Resource Center.

Elaine Shamos, Director of the Women's Health Resource Center, told the volunteer office, "We would like to recommend Lauren for a volunteer award. Lauren is a bright light in our work week. She comes to us on Mondays and is always cheery and on time. You could set a clock by Lauren. She is always up for anything we need to do: putting stickers on merchandise, helping us sort out magazines for our patients, or opening up packages. Lauren is a beautiful person inside and out and we're very fortunate to have her in our lives."

On Tuesday afternoons, when finished in the Food and Nutrition office, she distributes copies of Dartmouth Medicine along the Level 3 Mall, having distributed thousands of copies over the years.

On Thursday mornings, she distributes magazines and books to the combined EEG waiting area and staff lounge, before traveling to the DHMC Child Care Center to help out in the 3- to 5-year-old classroom. And as though volunteering for DHMC wasn't enough, she also assists at the Lebanon Senior Center, helping to pack up Meals on Wheels and helps with the noon luncheon every Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and goes to the Lebanon Library twice a week to help put books and DVDs back on the shelves.

"Lauren is a valued volunteer in the Butterfly Haven classroom. She passes out all the children's art work to their cubbies so it can be taken home. She sits with children at snack time and helps clean-up. She plays with children inside and outside. The children greet her with smiles and hellos and when she doesn't come [due to rare travels, illness, or other absence] they want to know where she is!" Lori Harris, Director of the DHMC Child Care Center said.

When not volunteering, Guay is an active participant in multiple sports in the Special Olympics. She carried the torch in the N.H. Regional Winter Games at the Dartmouth Skiway in 2008 while skiing downhill to light the Olympic Torch.