Day Kimball volunteer has been helping out for 33 years

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Regional - posted Thu., Feb. 14, 2013
Elaine Mills has volunteered at Day Kimball Hospital for 33 years. Courtesy photo. - Contributed Photo

Elaine Mills never set out with a plan to volunteer at Day Kimball Hospital. She merely accompanied her neighbor who was interested in learning more about the possibilities. “A friend wanted to check it out,” Mills said, “and I went with her. I came out a volunteer. It was that simple.”

That was more than 30 years ago. Mills has been volunteering ever since. She’s worked in a host of departments including the laboratory, physical therapy, human resources, neurology and ACU. DKH Volunteer Services Coordinator Janet Johnson said Mills has grown along with the hospital. “Thirty-three years of service is huge,” Johnson said. “She’s been dedicated and very flexible over the years.”

When she started volunteering, Mills trained for three weeks. “From there I kept going up the steps,” she said. “I helped patients change. I got them ready for exams. I filed reports and folders and films. I did whatever I could to help the patients. I loved dealing with people.”

Currently she spends two days a week in the preadmission testing department getting paperwork ready for the patients coming in for surgeries. The office she works in is small but busy. And while she does not get paid, the work she does is important. “It’s quite involved,” she said, “but I love it.”

She makes up about 15 charts a morning. “A lot of paperwork goes into those charts,” Mills said. “When you’re in the hospital, you’ve got a big book with all these pages. I sticker every page and put them in order. It’s time-consuming. You wouldn’t believe the number of surgeries.”

“It’s a good place to go to help others,” Mills said. “It makes you feel good. It gets you out. You come in contact with others and make friends and it makes you feel good. This is my outlet. At my age it’s good for my mental state. It keeps your mind active.”

“Everyone has been really good to me,” said Mills. “They are really good people to work for. I can’t wait for Monday morning to come around so I can go to work.”

For more information on volunteering at DKH, contact Janet Johnson, volunteer services coordinator ,at 860-928-6541. Go to, click on the giving tab to print out an application form.

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