National Volunteer Week - William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital
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William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital


National Volunteer Week


Leslie "George" Heideman (left), one of the Volunteer Patient Escorts, and Pamela Tallard (right) who Volunteers in the Community Relations Office were the first two in-hospital Volunteers to return on April 5th after the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital paused in-hospital Volunteering last year.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

National Volunteer Week Sees Volunteers Return to Madison VA

Madison, WI – April 18 – 24, 2021 is National Volunteer Week and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will use this opportunity to thank more than 46,000 American citizens who give back to Veterans every day at local VA medical facilities. In spite of a global pandemic, VA volunteers never lost their sense of dedication to our nation’s heroes.

Locally, the William S. Middleton Memorial Hospital in Madison recently welcomed back their first in-hospital Volunteers on April 5th. Prior to the pandemic, which paused many Volunteer activities, over 430 active Volunteers donated approximately 70,000 hours of service each year caring for Veterans. During the Pandemic many Volunteers continued to contribute, driving patients to their appointments at the hospital and volunteering virtually.

“We have such a wonderful group of Volunteers here at the hospital and our Community Based Outpatient Clinics,” said John Rohrer Hospital Director. “These individuals embody what it means to provide selfless service, sharing their unique talents and skills to improve the health care experience for our Veterans.”

According to the Chief of Voluntary Service Paul Rickert, the hospital is planning a recognition event later this summer.

“We are so excited to start bringing Volunteers back,” said Rickert. “Safety measures put in place due to COVID restrictions meant many areas that typically have strong Volunteer support had to adjust to operate without that help.”

The Madison VA was able to continue its Volunteer driver program, which assists with transporting Veterans to and from their medical appointments. Additionally, some positions were able to continue virtually, such as Volunteer positions in the nationally recognized My Life My Story program.

The hospital normally holds special events to honor the Volunteers during this week, however, this year’s celebration will be postponed until summer to accommodate an outdoor event that can meet COVID-19 guidelines.

During this National Volunteer Week, VA is inviting everyone in the community to explore how they can use their skills and unique assets to thank Veterans with service of their own. No medical experience is necessary, and volunteers are encouraged to share ideas how they would like to give back using their unique skills. To find opportunities, visit

For more information about the Madison VA Hospital, visit or


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