Peterborough hospital volunteer honoured for 50 years of service

A Peterborough woman was recognized Wednesday for more than 50 years of volunteer service with city hospitals.

Esther Doré, 83, was recognized for her half-century of service, which began in 1968 at the former Peterborough Civic Hospital. Her service continued when the new Peterborough Regional Health Centre opened in June 2008.

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“It’s the giving of yourself and meeting people,” Doré said.

“God gave me the gift that I could listen and also chat. My greatest joy is meeting people and spreading the word for volunteerism.”

PRHC honoured more than 500 volunteers at a function on Wednesday, which included highlighting Doré’s many roles. She recalls planning dances, organizing skits for clinical staff and visiting Toronto to procure items to sell at the hospital’s gift shop. She is currently providing pastoral care at PRHC.

Officials at PRHC say the funny, kind and compassionate Doré embodies the spirit of volunteerism.

“Some people don’t have any family,” she said. “Just being a good listener is so important to a lot of people. My advice is if you have spare time, it doesn’t matter whether it’s at the hospital or at hospice, just help someone. I’ve held a lot of hands through illnesses here. I’ve been truly blessed.”

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Dr. Peter McLaughlin, PRHC president and CEO, thanked all the volunteers who are making an impact.

“On behalf of the senior leadership team and all of our leaders, health-care professionals and staff, I want to thank our many volunteers at PRHC,” he said. “I would also like to send out a very special message of congratulations and thanks to Esther Doré for an exceptional 50 years of volunteer service with us. To all of our volunteers, thank you for everything you do for our patients and their families, for this hospital and for our community and region.”

PRHC volunteers work both directly and indirectly with patients and their families, supporting health-care professionals and staff to provide exceptional care. Their work includes everything from helping patients and visitors get to where they are going to running the hospital’s gift shop, making post-discharge phone calls to patients and delivering mail throughout the building.

For more information about volunteering at PRHC, please visit the hospital volunteer page.

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