OKTIBBEHA COUNTY, Miss. – (PRESS RELEASE) Volunteers donate time and energy for the benefit of other people in their community as a social responsibility rather than for any financial reward. Carolyn Arnold does exactly what this definition details about a volunteer. For her countless hours of service, Arnold was recently named OCH Auxiliary Volunteer of the Year for 2013-2014.
Starting as a registered nurse at Felix Long Memorial Hospital and moving over to OCH in 1973, Arnold does not remember a time when she wasn’t working in some shape, form or fashion at OCH Regional Medical Center.
“I have a long history here. I have a vested interest. That’s why I say this is my hospital,” Arnold said. “This was a great hospital to work at because they truly care about the individual. If something happens in your life, the hospital is so supportive. They treat you like family rather than an employee,” Arnold commented.
She retired from OCH as the infection control manager in 2007 and joined the OCH Auxiliary in 2008. While volunteering over the past six years, Arnold has served in many capacities including OCH Auxiliary President in 2012 and 2013, assisting patients by refilling their water or distributing magazines, serving as the front desk receptionist, and administering shots at the free flu clinic.
“Mrs. Arnold has been dedicated to this hospital for many, many years, both as an employee and a volunteer. Her knowledge of this hospital and of the medical field is invaluable to the auxiliary, and we are so fortunate and thankful to have her as a volunteer,” said OCH Director of Auxiliary Elaine Baker.
“I’ve been a healthcare provider most all my life. I’ve worked in a hospital since I was 16, and I couldn’t imagine life without caring for patients. It’s part of who I am, fortunately or unfortunately! I feel it’s what God called me to do,” Arnold said.
Originally from Niagara Falls, New York, Arnold met her husband, Ray, while he was in the U.S. Air Force stationed in New York. They’ve been married for 55 years and have three children and 10 grandchildren. From gardening, reading, traveling to visit grandkids, and being active in St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, they both enjoy retirement.
“I feel very humbled to receive this honor. There are so many auxiliary members who are so deserving of this award,” said Arnold. I’m just an ordinary person with an ordinary life who has been very blessed.