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Martha Jefferson Hospital Honors Volunteers - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Martha Jefferson Hospital Honors Volunteers

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This week Martha Jefferson honored volunteers like Meg Handelsman, who have gone above and beyond their duties. This week Martha Jefferson honored volunteers like Meg Handelsman, who have gone above and beyond their duties.

Martha Jefferson Hospital is celebrating the more than 350 volunteers who give their time and compassion to make patients more comfortable. Saturday brings an end to Volunteer Appreciation Week.

Meg Handelsman never expected her volunteer work at Martha Jefferson would become her passion. Now, she has carved out a niche in the community where she feels she belongs and is celebrating seven years volunteering in the Martha Jefferson emergency department.

"I haven't had any bad experiences, and I haven't had any grumpy patients, but I'm sure that does happen once in a while," Handelsman said.

Handelsman started volunteering alongside her husband, when his doctor suggested volunteering to take his mind off of his illness.

"I think the doctor was just concerned that he might become too obsessed with what might happen," she said.

Cleaning rooms and restocking them for new patients gave the couple an outlet.

"It was so interesting for me to be in such a different environment from the business world I was in and I have really an increased appreciation of the medical profession," she said.

This week Martha Jefferson honored volunteers like Handelsman, who have gone above and beyond their duties.

"Meg is just one of those volunteers that staff has embraced, and they look forward to her coming and know that she is going to provide a valuable service every time that she's working," Martha Hunter, Martha Jefferson's director of outpatient care centers and guest services, said.

For Handelsman, a real honor was walking into the new hospital's emergency department for the first time and finding her own cabinet.

"I was quite tickled with that," she said. "My own office. I belong."

With that small gesture, hospital staff sent Handelsman a humbling message.

"I'm permanent, which is a very nice feeling," she said.

Handelsman bought herself some scrubs and says she has no plans to stop volunteering.

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