Friday, June 24, 2016

My Red Cross Volunteer Story: Kenneth Hamilton

For seven years, Kenneth Hamilton has “served with dedication and heart,” according to one of our leading volunteers. Another leading volunteer states that, when attending Ken’s briefing, she has been “very impressed, not only with his professionalism, but also his promotion of the Red Cross at Fort Belvoir.

Ken Hamilton, a U.S. Air Force retiree and health care recipient at the Fort Belvoir DeWitt Army Hospital, was inspired to strengthen communication between patients and their families with the hospital caregivers. Upon learning that the hospital had established a Patient Family Advisory Council (PFAC), Ken joined the Council in 2009. He also became a Red Cross volunteer, a hospital requirement for all non-government employees serving on the Council. Because of his commitment to the goals of the PFAC and his strong leadership skill, Ken became chair in 2010 and also appointed a co-chair to assist with the group’s important work.

In his role as co-chair of the Hospital’s PFAC, Ken has provided valuable service as a collaborative voice of the patients and their families to the hospital’s professional staff, strengthening their relationships and communications. Under Ken’s leadership, the PFAC has matured and developed into a valued and respected hospital asset. His views, as a voice of the patients and families, are actively sought through representation at the hospital’s operational committee meetings and through invitations by other groups interested in establishing a similar functional group. In heralding the importance of the PFAC in providing patient feedback to the hospital, Ken emphasizes that the doctors and nurses know how to run the hospital. But he notes that, “What is changing is what patients need to know about their care.” The PFAC has had an impact at the hospital in improving communications among the patients and staff.”

In addition to the many hours of volunteer service at the hospital, Ken assisted a number of outreach events. He was particularly helpful to SAF Headquarters staff in its lab testing and video taping of the Service to the Armed Forces Client Self-Service platform. Ken’s outreach activities, both at the hospital’s Patient Orientation briefings and at many community events around the National Capital Region, have provided an extremely beneficial boost to the military community’s knowledge and understanding of American Red Cross programs in Service to the Armed Forces.

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