NCH's Lovern elected as state auxiliary president


NORTON, Va. – Norton Community Hospital (NCH) Auxiliary’s Alane Lovern, of Pound, was recently elected president of the Virginia Association of Healthcare Auxiliaries and Volunteers (VAHAV).

She has been a member of the NCH Auxiliary for five years and has served on the VAHAV Board of Directors for four years. The auxiliary provides financial support for various projects that support the hospital’s patients, guests and team members. The auxiliary also operates the gift shop, with proceeds helping to benefit patients and their families.

Lovern, a retired teacher from J.W. Adams Combined School in Pound, will serve as president of the state organization until October 2014. Her duties will include visiting hospitals in all five districts of the state, installing VAHAV officials at hospitals throughout Virginia, attending board meetings in Richmond and attending a leadership conference in Nashville, Tenn.

“It was quite an honor to be elected,” Lovern said. “Each year, the new president has a theme, and my theme was ‘Volunteering is Love in Motion.’ I still like the idea of helping one person, and then maybe they will pass it on. Love never stops.

“I’m a firm believer in doing to others as you’d have them do to you. And I never met anyone with any auxiliaries over the years who didn’t feel that same way.”

Lovern said that in addition to operating the gift shop and helping various good causes, NCH Auxiliary volunteers provide emotional support to patients and their families.

“You would not believe the number of people who’ve come in and cried, and we’ve hugged them and been their shoulder to cry on and they’ve asked us to say a prayer for them,” she said. “It goes beyond monetary contributions.”

One of Lovern’s goals as president is to draw attention to and raise general awareness of Norton Community Hospital, Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA) and Southwest Virginia as a region.

“I want the rest of the state to realize Virginia doesn’t end at Roanoke,” she said. “We have a lot of good people in this area and we do a lot of good things, but we’re sometimes sort of overlooked down here.”

Lovern was installed as president in October at the VAHAV annual conference at Fort McGruder Hotel and Conference Center in Williamsburg. Norton Community Hospital vice president and CEO Mark Leonard and his wife, Jean, who is a member of the auxiliary, also attended and gave their support to Lovern and the conference.

Among the good causes the NCH Auxiliary supports are:

  • NCH Baby Closet fund, which assists families in need who have just had a newborn
  • Coats for Kids, which provides winter coats for school children in need
  • Scholarships to Mountain Empire Community College
  • Food deliveries for local senior citizens
  • Children’s Advocacy Center
  • St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
  • Southern Appalachian Ronald McDonald House in Johnson City, Tenn.
  • Norton Community Hospital Foundation

The Norton Auxiliary also gives handmade teddy bears to children in the hospital’s ER, and gives teddy bears to all the operating room pediatric patients.

Lovern said the NCH Auxiliary is a dedicated group but membership has waned, and the organization is always looking for new volunteers.

“We’re trying to rebuild and revive our auxiliary so we can help take care of the hospital and the community,” she said.

For information about volunteering for the Norton Community Hospital Auxiliary, visit or call Juanita Rutherford at 276-439-1320 or visit the gift shop and ask a member.

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