Corewell Health is the new name for Lakeland. Learn More
One Unified System of Care: Find out how we’re creating a better experience and updating your MyChart. Learn More

Message from the President


The Impact of Volunteering

Every spring at Lakeland, we pay tribute to the volunteers who give their time and talents to make our health system a better place for our patients and staff. These volunteers make ahuge impact on our organization. In fact, last year, more than 900 volunteers (including 35 pet volunteers) donated a grand total of almost 115,000 hours of service.

We often see the next generation of healthcare leaders start as student volunteers, a role in which they gain valuable insight into the medical field. One of them is Andrew Vigansky, a 16-year-old Lakeshore High School student who was recently awarded one of our organization’s highest honors—a heart on his identification badge, which signifies that he touched the hearts of his coworkers by displaying compassionate care. The Emergency Department staff members nominated Andrew for this recognition because of everything he does to support the team, such as cleaning patient rooms to help reduce wait times.

On the other side of the age spectrum, Lakeland has a number of volunteers who prove that growing older is no barrier to being active and productive. If you’ve been to our Center for Outpatient Services in St. Joseph, you may have met Chris Ruppel, 93, and Ed Schultz, 93, who are among our most senior volunteers. Rain or shine, Chris and Ed drive patients and visitors from the parking lot to the facility’s entrance in courtesy shuttles. By offering a warm welcome and a convenient ride, Chris and Ed make our patients and visitors feel safe and comfortable before they even walk through our doors.

The volunteers have left their mark in other ways through their own philanthropic organization, the Lakeland Health Auxiliary. Last year, the Auxiliary continued a long tradition of service with a $150,000 gift in support our robotic surgery program. Over the years, the Auxiliary has donated millions of dollars to special projects at Lakeland by raising funds through income from gift shops, book sales, and other special events. In addition, the Auxiliary awards $16,000 in scholarships each year to student volunteers. Their fundraising efforts make it possible for Lakeland to continue to meet the needs of those we serve.  

Many thanks to all of our Lakeland volunteers—your dedication is truly inspiring. And a special thank you to Loraine Frobel, who donated the most time to Lakeland last year with 1,300 hours; Jan Houseman, who is our longest-serving volunteer with 60 years of service; and Patt Johnson, who has accumulated the most hours over her 40 years of volunteering with 27,525 hours. For community members interested in helping us make a difference, please visit to learn more about our volunteer opportunities.


Continue Watching

Community Grand Rounds: Black Maternal and Infant Health Panel Discussion

Learn how communities and health systems can come together to find solutions for inequities related to Black maternal and infant health, including breastfeeding support.

Community Grand Rounds: Black Maternal and Infant Health Summit

Why do we need to bring awareness to Black Breastfeeding and the inequities in maternal and infant health? Watch to learn about the historical and current experiences and policies that make it difficult to create equitable birth outcomes.

Matters of the Heart short film

Watch what happens when a local Black-owned business and cardiologist come together to discuss heart health in our new short film, Matters of the Heart.

Health, Housing and Healing: A Community Grand Rounds Event

The large gap in homeownership rates between Black and white Americans is caused by years of policies and laws that have resulted in housing inequities. Keynote speaker, Natalie Moore, will unpack that history and how it relates to our health.

Community Grand Rounds - Battling Structural Racism

Structural Racism, meaning biases that have been built into the institution's people rely on, is a pervasive issue in the US.

Community Food Network: A Leg Up on Life

After assistance from a Lakeland nurse, Nancey received intervention for a life-threatening condition in the nick of time.

Weathering and Health Inequity: Letting the Epigenome Out of the Bottle Without Losing Sight of the Structural Origins of Population Health

Dr. Geronimus discussed weathering and the ways that structurally rooted biological and psychosocial processes shape health inequities in our society.

Interview with Bechara Choucair, MD: Advancing Health? It's About the Mind, Body, and Community

Dr. Choucair shares how his organization is working to improve conditions for health and equity

Interview with David Williams, MPH, PhD: Structural Competency and Institutional Discrimination

Dr. David Williams discusses institutional discrimination, individual discrimination, and structural competency.

Interview with David Williams, MPH, PhD: Recognizing and Preventing Implicit Bias

Dr. David Williams discusses his research on ways to recognize and prevent implicit bias.

Copyright © 2024 Corewell Health. All rights reserved.