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Program For Parents Of High Risk Newborns At The Medical Center Wins Statewide Award

COLUMBUS, Ga., March 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Parent Advisory Council at The Medical Center is the recipient of the 2013 Georgia Society of Directors of Volunteer Services (GSDVS) "Best Practice Award." The award, which honors new, innovative and unique volunteer programs in the areas of Community Outreach, In-House Programs and Fundraising, was announced at the 2013 GSDVS Annual Conference March 19-20 in St. Simons, Ga.

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The Parent Advisory Council (PAC) is a dedicated group of volunteers and staff who support parents with babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or Special Care Nursery at The Medical Center. Members of PAC include Columbus Regional Auxiliary members as well as parents of High Risk Nursery graduates who draw on their past experiences to help current families.  As part of their ongoing support services, PAC holds weekly parent rounding sessions and monthly parent socials where current NICU parents and families can interact with PAC members.

"On behalf of PAC, we are honored and elated to receive this award," said Julia Slater, PAC Chair. "We know The Medical Center has many volunteer programs, and we are grateful the Volunteer Services program chose to nominate us. PAC is truly a committee, in the truest meaning of the word. Everyone has a vital contribution that enhances the families' experiences while easing their burdens. We also know that the excellent and unwavering commitment of The Medical Center's staff and physicians play a big role in motivating parents to become PAC volunteers."

PAC was one of dozens of nominees for the Best Practice Award. A panel of three out-of-state judges selected two programs to be recognized at the state conference—The Medical Center's PAC and a volunteer program from Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. PAC was announced as the overall winner at the conference. Nancy Williams, Director of Volunteers Services at Columbus Regional Healthcare System accepted the award.

"This award does two things," said Nancy Williams. "First, it honors the fantastic and selfless members of PAC who serve as rocks for families at The Medical Center who are going through trying times and often need to lean on the shoulders of people who have been in their situation. Second, it reinforces how vital volunteers are in the Columbus Regional Healthcare System and in health care, in general."  

About Columbus Regional Healthcare System Columbus Regional Healthcare System is a not-for-profit organization providing health, medical and community outreach services to west Georgia and east Alabama. Columbus Regional includes three hospitals – The Medical Center, Doctors Hospital and Hughston Hospital, all located in Columbus, Ga. The system also includes the nationally recognized John B. Amos Cancer Center, the Columbus Regional Neuroscience Center at The Medical Center, Columbus Regional Physician Group and urgent care centers. Services include the region's only advanced maternity services and neonatal intensive care unit; a Children's Hospital, which includes a pediatric intensive care unit; a growing program of women's services; highly regarded emergency services for children and adults; and a dedicated trauma center. For more information, visit

About GSDVSThe purpose of the Georgia Society of Directors of Volunteer Services is to promote and enhance the practice of administrators of organized volunteer programs in a health care organization by providing educational programs, networking opportunities and recognizing service and program excellence. The Georgia Society of Directors of Volunteer Services is one of many professional societies affiliated with the Georgia Hospital Association. Each society, while under the administrative and financial auspices of GHA, is autonomous, having its own bylaws, elected officers and programs.

Contact: Anne Holmes(703) 660-6566; (706) 320-1305 (pager)

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