DOROTHY NELSON-2

Daily Point of Light # 2591 Mar 9, 2004

Well into her 70’s, when many senior citizens might consider slowing down, Dorothy holds two on-going volunteer positions, both requiring a high level of skill and commitment.

Dorothy has been a volunteer staff member of the Montgomery County Volunteer Center since June of 1998. She works approximately 15 hours per week, and maintains and updates a vast database of volunteer needs of the over 600 non-profit or public agencies that are registered with the Volunteer Center. This is no small task with more than 2,000 volunteer opportunities in the database that is ever changing with the needs of the community.

In order for the Volunteer Center to mobilize people and resources to deliver creative solutions to community problems, the database serves as the link in matching businesses, religious organizations, school groups, scout groups, neighborhood associations, and individuals to one-time, short-term, or ongoing volunteer opportunities. As such, it is critical that the information contained in that database be current and complete. Her work requires meticulous record keeping, computer, and people skills. As the technology changes in maintaining the database, Dorothy is ready and willing to learn a new system or process to insure the efficiency and integrity of the database.

Dorothy became a member of the Montgomery County Long Term Care Ombudsman Program in February of 1995. The program is designed to resolve complaints made by residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The program serves more than 6,000 long-term care residents throughout the region. Dorothy oversees the quality assurance component of the program. Her nursing background and quality assurance knowledge have been an integral part of the successful record keeping required in the advocacy work of the more than 60 volunteer ombudsman representatives and eight staff members of the program. Dorothy has created an atmosphere of credible service because she assures continuity through the review of all records before closure. She is dependable and reliable, volunteering an average of 3-4 hours every week.

In both programs Dorothy’s work meets critical community needs. At the Volunteer Center the database that she manages is posted on the Volunteer Center website and accessed by thousands of county residents who are interested in getting involved and making a difference. The feedback received from the agencies that rely on the Volunteer Center database to recruit volunteers, and from the people in the community that access the database on the website is consistently positive. Her work is literally building a connection between the needs of the nonprofits and the resources of those interested in solving community problems.

Her work with the Ombudsman Program also has an important impact. Due to Dorothy’s competency in the quality assurance field, the program is able to continuously re-evaluate areas for training and improvement. Her work helps make the Program’s goal, to promote the highest possible quality of life and care for residents living in the County’s licensed nursing homes and assisted living facilities, a reality.

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