Lakeview Health System

Friday, April 05, 2019 - Volunteers give extra warm welcome to patients and families at Lakeview

Community members volunteer thousands of hours of their time every year to make a Lakeview Hospital visit a little more welcoming and a little less worrying to patients and their loved ones.

In 2018, 222 hospital, hospice and clinic volunteers at Lakeview and Stillwater Medical Group donated 16,770 hours of time. Across the HealthPartners hospitals and clinics in the St. Croix Valley and western Wisconsin, 402 volunteers donated 27,648 hours last year. That’s equal to more than 13 full-time employees or almost $700,000 of service provided free of charge by community members (using a national rate to estimate the value of volunteer time).

National Volunteer Week is April 8-12, 2019. Ted Wegleitner, president of Lakeview Hospital, said: “We absolutely depend on the wonderful work of our volunteers. They complement the work of our staff to help our patients feel welcome, confident and secure when they need our care, whether that’s at our hospital or in their own home. They are a very important part of creating the kind of healing environment we want for our patients. We are so grateful for all they do.”

Volunteers work in more than 20 different areas across the hospital, clinic, chapel and hospice, including: hand massage, visiting hospital patients for delirium prevention and hospice patients in their homes, surgery waiting, outpatient PT, wayfinding, pet therapy, Teddy Bear Clinic (field trip for area kindergartners), Lakeview Health Foundation, pharmacy, nursing stations, respite care for hospice patient families, grief support groups and more.

“We’re so thankful to all our volunteers for their generosity with their time and partnership in service,” said Kim Klisch, hospital volunteer coordinator. “All of our volunteers play an important part in making the hospital experience the best it can be for patients and their loved ones. We are so thankful for their involvement.”

“The volunteer is one of the most important people on the hospice team,” said Nancy Kuckler, hospice volunteer coordinator. “They work in partnership with our medical staff to provide the emotional and spiritual support to help hospice patients live their final months in comfort and dignity.”

For more information on becoming a volunteer at Lakeview Hospital, contact Kim Klisch at 651-430-8522 or email For information on becoming a Lakeview Hospice volunteer, contact Nancy Kuckler at 651-275-8255 or email

Volunteer Melinda Elledge and her certified therapy dog Charlotte, a National Grand Champion golden retriever. Together they brighten the day for patients, visitors, and colleagues at Lakeview. Lakeview volunteer Gwynne Fransen brings comfort and relaxation to patients with gentle hand massage.

Wendy Grandlienard, a recently retired high school art teacher, volunteers in the hospital gift shop, helping customers and ringing up purchases.