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Published on September 01, 2016

Karen & Dave Westreich

Supporting a World-Class Vision

Karen Westreich
Donors: Karen & Dave Westreich

Recipient: Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center

When you walk into Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center, one of the smiling faces that you see at the registration desk is Karen Westreich. Karen volunteers three days a week, serving as an ambassador--helping people navigate the hospital, solve problems, and calming their nerves.

“I wanted to do something more altruistic,” says Karen Westreich, about her decision to become a volunteer at the hospital four years ago, after retiring from a career in interior design. After observing the hospital staff in action, before long she became invested in the mission of providing world-class care. She and her husband, Dave, a sales and marketing executive with Gilbane Building Company have deepened their commitment by becoming financial supporters to the Shady Grove Medical Center Foundation.

When Dave retired this past January, he too wanted to spend some of his time volunteering, but for someone who “worked under an adrenaline rush my whole career—everything was deadline-driven,” he knew he needed a fast-paced, stimulating environment. He met with Jewel Thompson, Adventist HealthCare’s ‎director of volunteer and guest services, and after listening to him describe his ideal environment, she said, “I’ve got just the thing for you—helping out in Emergency Triage. Now, two mornings a week, Dave helps to manage the flow of patients, visitors and families that come into the emergency room, and serves as an extra set of hands to the staff. Says Dave, “As much as I respected the professional staff there, it has been heightened from being on the front line watching the triage nurse and the charge nurse dealing with life and death situations.”

Karen was recently nominated for Adventist HealthCare’s Compassionate Care Award, which is awarded each year to an employee or volunteer who exemplifies Adventist HealthCare’s mission and values, and going above and beyond their day-to-day responsibilities.

Both Karen and Dave—who will be celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary this year—are enjoying a busy, active, and meaningful retirement. “We both are pushing a lot of wheelchairs every day,” smiles Karen.

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