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In Our Community: Northeast Georgia Health System honors volunteers at luncheon
06122018 COMMUNITY NGHS Lorena Collins award
Carol Burrell, president and CEO of Northeast Georgia Health System, honors Lorena Collins, for her 55 years of service to NGHS, along with Louis Smith, president of acute and post-acute operations for NGHS. Collins is holding her official recognition that will be entered into the official Congressional record, which will be a part of the National Archives of the 115th Congress by Rep. Doug Collins. - photo by For The Times

Northeast Georgia Health System volunteers serving at Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s Gainesville, Braselton and Barrow campuses — and within programs such as Hospice and Lifeline of Northeast Georgia Medical Center and long-term care facilities New Horizons Limestone and Lanier Park — were honored at the Health System Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon held at First Baptist Church Gainesville. 191 volunteers were recognized with service awards, representing a cumulative total of 190,692 volunteer service hours — equivalent to a value of $4.7 million dollars.

Dot Pirkle, life member and former president of The Medical Center Auxiliary and member of The Medical Center Foundation Board of Trustees, was honored with the Marjorie Covington Smith Auxilian of the Year award. She has volunteered for NGHS for 14 years. Pirkle began serving with NGHS as a volunteer buyer for The Window Shops. She quickly tallied more than 2,500 hours of service and held multiple leadership roles within The Medical Center Auxiliary Board. 

Another volunteer, Don Fancher, former member of The Medical Center Auxiliary Board and life member, received the Nell Whelchel Wiegand Patient Friend award. Fancher has served NGHS for more than 15 years — as well as has donated more than 4,700 hours. He began serving in the radiology department and continues to serve twice weekly in the emergency services department at the Gainesville campus.

NGHS and The Medical Center Auxiliary recognized MaryAnna Wicker — who is an Emergency Services Patient Friend — for 12,000 hours of service. Lee Highsmith was honored for 35 years of service. The Auxiliary also awarded Lorena Collins, honorary life member, for her 55 years of service and donating a record of more than 25,000 hours of service.

Since the Auxiliary’s inception 67 years ago, NGMC volunteers have contributed more than 1.9 million hours of service, enabling The Medical Center Auxiliary to donate $8.4 million for the enhancement of services provided by NGHS.

For more information about volunteering with the Medical Center Auxiliary, visit

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