Archive for Monday, January 25, 1999


January 25, 1999


Geneva Pohl has volunteered at the Lawrence Memorial Hospital for nine years.

It is 10:45 this Friday morning, as Geneva Pohl sits behind the patient information desk at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

With a sweet voice and cheerful smile, Pohl answers telephone calls and questions of people who pass by the desk.

While it is not too hectic today, Pohl still keeps busy with her numerous duties. The phone suddenly rings.

"Information, may I help you?" she asks the caller, who requests the room number of a patient. After completing the call, Pohl directs a gentleman to the billing department. A mother and daughter now approach the desk for their scheduled appointment.

"It will be just a few minutes," Pohl says, smiling. "If you have a seat, I'll call you just as soon as someone can help you."

Pohl, a volunteer at the LMH information desk for the past nine years, loves being active and interacting with the public. She worked previously as a switchboard operator for the Lawrence School District before retiring nine years ago.

"I missed the contact with the people when I retired," said Pohl, who took just a three-month break after retiring before joining LMH. "I enjoy this, and I feel like maybe I'm helping and serving a purpose."

She is certainly making an invaluable impact at the hospital.

Pohl recently completed a seven-year stint as chair of the patient information desk, where she coordinated all the volunteer schedules.

Pohl thinks the hospital is a dynamic and great place to volunteer. She receives much satisfaction helping people in stressful times.

Pohl cherishes the relationships she's made over the years with her fellow volunteers at LMH, as well as the many familiar patients she sees. These friendships have been quite therapeutic to Pohl, whose husband, Ralph, died in 1984. She credits her religious faith, a strong family support system, and an active volunteer lifestyle for helping her maintain such a positive spirit.

Pohl, who volunteered previously with the American Red Cross, has also been involved with the Central United Methodist Church for 40 years.

She admits that she and her husband had big plans after retirement.

"There's no point in sitting at home feeling sorry for yourself and wishing for things that can't be," Pohl said.

The clock now strikes 11:25, as volunteer Beverly Van Dyke checks in at the information desk and relieves Pohl of her duties.

Still smiling, Pohl begins walking to Allyson Leland's office, who is the hospital's volunteer coordinator. Leland greets her buddy and talks about how much Pohl means to LMH. Somewhat blushing upon hearing such praise, Pohl sees a friend in the hallway and walks over and gives him a hug.

Leland continues reveling in her genuine sentiments and feelings towards Pohl.

"Things have just run very smoothly with Geneva supervising the information desk volunteers. We have always counted on the excellent organizational skills she has brought to her volunteer job," Leland said.

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