The Council is an independent membership organization made up of individuals who volunteer at Georgia hospitals, including GHA members, that seeks to help volunteers initiate new services designed to improve the care given to patients in Georgia hospitals and help Council members better prepare themselves for leadership positions in volunteer services. To help further the work of the Council, Georgia Hospital Association shall continue to serve as sponsor of COVS.
The Council on Volunteer Services Georgia Health Care, Inc. (COVS) was founded in 1958 as the Council on Auxiliaries/Volunteers (CoA/V). Currently, membership consists of 56 hospitals’ Volunteer Services throughout the state of Georgia. 2020 was the year of the COVID-19 pandemic and, even though most of our member hospitals furloughed their Volunteers in early March, we were able to provide many hours of service and were still able to contribute much needed financial gifts to our hospitals. During the 2019-2020 year these volunteers (4299) volunteered a total of 1,383,510 hours in their participating hospitals and contributed funds totaling $1,583,831.00 In addition, the Volunteers gave over $184,449.00 to their communities. Our teen programs were not active this past summer because of COVID but we did have eleven teen programs that were active prior to the furlough of our hospital Volunteers. Thirty-one Volunteer Services reported having gift shops that remained active. Twenty-four hospitals have Scholarship Programs.
The association is divided into 6 districts: Central, North Central, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, and Southwest. Two District Directors represent each district. The COVS governing body is made up of a Board of Management (BOM) that directs the actions and programs of the association. The President also selects members of the BOM to serve on committees.The Council offers the training needed to ensure each volunteer has practical help to its health care facility in performing essential services. Volunteers can be of tremendous help with community relations programs, community outreach programs, in providing valuable volunteer services to patients, and donating financial resources to improve patient care. One of the greatest values of Council Membership is the exchange of ideas and experiences that can help Volunteers initiate new services designed to improve the care given to patients in our hospitals and help individuals better prepare themselves for leadership positions in their volunteer services. It is the aim of Council to establish new Volunteers Services at the request of health care facilities and to assist in the dissemination of information concerning projects and services which will further the efficient functioning of health care volunteers in the Georgia Hospital Association and the American Hospital Association.