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  Welcome to the Partners of WHA Awards Page  

Members are encouraged to pursue excellence as groups and personally.  Awards sponsored by Partners of WHA are presented annually at Convention.    

Honor Point Awards are earned by groups who have fulfilled the expectations of membership.

WAVE Awards are presented to four programs with significant positive impact in their communities.

The Best of the Best Award is presented to an administrator who excels at empowering volunteers.  (Has been paused in 2023.)

Wisconsin Non-WHA and National Awards Winners

  Award of Hope  


Other awards for hospitals and their programs include the University of Wisconsin Organ and Tissue Donation Award of Hope for organizations that excel in encouraging Organ and Tissue Donations. Click here for the 2019 Press Release.  


Award winners for 2019 include:

  • Gold - Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center, Janesville and Ascension Mercy Hospital, Oshkosh

  • Silver - SSM Health St. Mary's, Madison and HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital, Eau Claire

  • Bronze - Aspirus Hospital, Wausau

Hospital Awards for Volunteer Excellence (H.A.V.E.)​

These awards were established by the American Hospital Association (AHA) Board of Trustees to help hospitals attract and retain volunteers by recognizing outstanding contributions of organized programs of volunteer service.

The HAVE Awards have been suspended as of 2020.

2019 HAVE Award

In 2019, St. Mary's Hospital Auxiliary (Madison) received a HAVE Award for their Patient Hand Massage program which received a WAVE Award in 2018.  

Category: In-service Hospital Volunteer Program: “Patient Comfort Hand Massage”, SSM Health-St. Mary’s Hospital Auxiliary, Madison  Members of the SSM Health-St. Mary’s Hospital Auxiliary support the healing ministry of their health system by providing patients with a complimentary hand massage, intended to improve overall comfort and enhance their experience while in the care of SSM Health-St. Mary’s Hospital. The hand massage is one of eight options on the Comfort Menu, given to each patient upon admission. The Patient Comfort Hand Massage is unique in that it provides the patient with one-on-one attention from a fully-trained volunteer who is present and focused on being a caring listener and human connection. Data results from the 651 patients who received hand massages in 2017 indicate that 89% agreed with the statement “Receiving a hand massage increased my comfort today.” Since its inception, a pool of 34 volunteers who provide this service has been built, dedicating over 775 hours of service.  (This program also received one of the 2019 HAVE Awards.)

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Donella Christianson, a Volunteer Partner with the Partners with Our Lady of Victory Hospital, Stanley, received an award for the blood program Leader of the Year Award for the Eastern District being nominated by her Red Cross Representative, Zachary Scott.  She accepted the award at the American Red Cross Minnesota Region Volunteers Recognition Event and Annual Board Meeting on Tuesday, June 25, 2019, at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska, MN and was accompanied by her husband Norm.  This Stanley-Boyd Community is part of the Eastern District of the Minnesota Region.  There were approximately 250 people in attendance.


Donella organizes and coordinates five annual Red Cross blood drives a year, with the help of other volunteers, including the Partners with Our Lady of Victory Hospital, collecting  45 - 65 units at each drive.  Even on Christmas Eve, Donella has coordinated blood drives for many years because she understands the patients don’t get a holiday from needing lifesaving blood.  In total her drives have collected 2,692 units since 2006.  She continues to keep growing her drives, taking all the responsibilities.  She is always finding new ways to make each blood drive special by adding food and drawings for gift certificates from local restaurants, garden centers and more as a thank you to blood donors.


Other responsibilities include recruiting donors, writing articles, getting calling lists ready, scheduling appointments, lining up goodies for the canteen, help make a lunch for the Red Cross staff, and being on site before, during and after the drive.


Donella is a Volunteer Partner with the Partners with Our Lady of Victory Hospital, Stanley and Co-President of the Volunteer Partners Board of Directors.  She was recently installed as SecretaryTreasurer of the West Central District.

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Ascension Mercy Hospital Volunteer Wins Award from Prevent Blindness Wisconsin

The winner of the 2019 Gae Lach Sight Saver Award from Prevent Blindness Wisconsin is Kathy Backus one of Mercy’s Children Screening Services volunteers. 
Congratulations Kathy, on behalf of Prevent Blindness Wisconsin, she is the recipient of the 2019 Gae Lach Sight Saver Award. Gae Lach was an active Children’s Vision Screener that made a difference to countless children whose lives were changed because they received the gift of sight. This award is given at our Annual Meeting on Tuesday, May 21 to a dedicated volunteer that exemplifies the work that Gae Lach did in the community. 
"The members of Children’s Screening Services nominated you for this special award because of your dedication to the CCS group since 1992 and have recorded more than 3,237 hours of volunteer time with the group – thank you! We cannot think of a better recipient for this award and are lucky to have you support Prevent Blindness Wisconsin through certified vision screenings since 2005. Because of you, hundreds of children in the Oshkosh area receive a certified vision screening each year and are now on the path for healthy vision for a lifetime."

Children's Screening Services is a Partners of WHA WAVE Award recipient.

Ministry Eagle River Thrift Shop - 2017 HAVE Finalist!


The Auxiliary Partners of Ministry Eagle River Memorial Hospital Thrift Store was selected by the American Hospital Association as a finalist in the 33rd annual Hospital Award for Volunteer Excellence (HAVE) program. This program was established by the AHA board of trustees to showcase outstanding volunteer programs throughout the country. The Thrift Store has operated for over 50 years. It collects gently used items and sells them to the community at 203 South Main Street in Eagle River, WI. It also has an arrangement to honor vouchers issued by local churches and not-for-profits to assist community members who are struggling financially. The proceeds from sales (usually around $50,000 annually) benefit the hospital. Funds have helped the hospital to purchase an ambulance, 2 Lifepac 15 V4 defibrillator monitors, outpatient surgery equipment, and a digital mammography unit. The shop is run entirely by about 38 volunteers. It is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm. The Thrift Store received a certificate from the AHA which will be proudly displayed on a wall at the store. Congratulations volunteers for all of your hard work!

Wisconsin's first HAVE award winner

Mercy Hospital System in Janesville WI received the Hospital Award for Volunteer Excellence in the community service program category. Great job to all who helped make this award possible. A special thanks to Laura Bergeron and Judy Jaggard for joining us at the recognition breakfast in Washington DC.

Volunteer Wins National Award from the American Cancer Society



Kitty Pille, a volunteer at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital, Eau Claire, for at least 20 years, recently received a national award for her involvement with the American Cancer Society.  Kitty received the Terese Lasser Memorial Award for her outstanding support of Breast Cancer Survivors at a recent American Cancer Society Volunteer Recognition.


The prestigious Terese Lasser Memorial Award, the highest national award for service in the American Cancer Society Reach to Recovery program, was developed to recognize exceptional achievement, performance and dedication to the Reach to Recovery Program.  It honors the memory of Terese Lasser, who began Reach to Recovery in 1952, following her own breast cancer experience. It is a program in which breast cancer survivors provide one-on-one support and information to help individuals cope with breast cancer. 


Kitty is the Midwest Region counselor for Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and South Dakota . She has been a certified counselor for 15 years, trained to respond to and assist women as they go through their cancer experience, from diagnosis and treatment to possible recurrence and recovery.  Kitty received her training on line and receives regular renewals of her certification on-line.  Kitty receives referrals from the American Cancer Society and has contact via telephone or on-line with the individual.


Kitty had breast cancer in 1998 and a reoccurrence in 2004.  Kitty is also a survivor of a stroke she experienced 30 years ago.  Our congratulations and best wishes to Kitty for all she does for others and receiving this award!


submitted by:

Jaci Fuller,

HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital, Eau Claire

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