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MCHS honors local volunteers

CANNON FALLS — Volunteers enhance patient care. That was the message as Mayo Clinic Health System recognizes its 384 volunteers across Cannon Falls, Lake City and Red Wing who collectively contributed 17,576 hours in 2016.

As part of National Volunteer Week, Mayo Clinic Health System hosted "Hats Off to Volunteers" for its volunteers April 11 at the Cannon River Winery in Cannon Falls. The event included dinner, recognition by staff who wore fun hats and entertainment by Michael Riddel.

"Our recognition event is really just a small token of our deep gratitude for our volunteers," says Brian Whited, CEO of Mayo Clinic Health System in Cannon Falls, Lake City and Red Wing. "The work they do each day really enhances our patient and resident experience while they're in our care. It also provides a great deal of help to our staff."

According to the Independent Sector, a consortium of charities, foundations and corporate giving programs, the value of volunteer services is around $22.55 an hour, making the contributions of the 384 volunteers worth $391,066.

Volunteers throughout Cannon Falls, Lake City and Red Wing help in various capacities. Their work includes playing bingo with care center residents in Lake City, planning fundraisers, rocking babies during prenatal classes in Red Wing, helping patients and visitors in and out of vehicles, delivering mail and assisting staff with many different projects.

The Hospice program in Red Wing also has 11 volunteer therapy dogs who visit hospice patients and families.

All Mayo Clinic Health System volunteers receive orientation and training on their specific service area. Anyone age 14 and older is welcome to volunteer. To learn more, call 651-385-3400. To apply online, visit