SALEM, Va. (WFXR) — A volunteer at LewisGale Medical Center, Cliff Cuff, has been named a finalist for the hospital’s parent company’s humanitarian award. There are nearly 200 hospitals in the HCA Healthcare system and Cuff beat out nominees from all over the country.
“I feel blessed. I really feel blessed,” Cuff said.
Cuff has been a fixture at LewisGale for 3.5 years and has served over 1,500 hours. He starts his volunteer days by flashing his infectious smile and greeting everyone he encounters in the hospital’s hallways.
“Volunteering is part of me. It’s who I am,” Cuff said. “So many people need help these days and to be able to help people, it just makes me feel good on the inside.”
LewisGale Market President Lance Jones presented Cuff with a monetary award of $1,000 for being one of two finalists for the HCA’s oldest and most prestigious Frist Humanitarian Award.
A cash prize of $1,000 was also donated to a charity of Cuff’s choice. He chose Noah Christian Academy in Salem, an institution his grandson attended at three years old.
“He’s one of those folks when you walk into the door on any morning and you just see that smile, even if it is behind a mask, it refreshes everybody. The positive attitude, the can-do spirit, and incredibly selfless. It’s a privilege to have him as a part of our volunteer team,” Jones said.
Cuff says he got the urge to volunteer after seeing how hospital workers treated his mother when she was being cared for in hospice.
“That gave me the opportunity to see what volunteering was like. And after I saw that, I knew then that if I got the opportunity, I would do it,” Cuff said.
Cuff’s wife, Saundra, also works at LewisGale Medical Center as the volunteer coordinator, which means she’s basically his boss.
“I am very proud of him. It was well deserved,” Saundra said. “He is just one of those persons everyone fall in love with. He has a great smile, he never says no, he helps anybody and everybody in this community.”
Helping is something Cuff has been doing for at least a decade of his life. He says he doesn’t do it for recognition, but because it’s his purpose.
“If I help somebody, make somebody’s day, it makes my day,” Cuff said.
LewisGale Medical Center says it is looking for more volunteers who are retired or who are just sitting around and would like to give back to the community. If you are interested, you can apply on the hospital’s website, call Saundra Cuff at 540-444-2371, or visit the hospital at 1900 Electric Road.
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