Open Accessibility Menu

Volunteer Judy Shaffer Serves Hospital Auxiliaries Statewide

Volunteer Judy Shaffer Serves Hospital Auxiliaries Statewide

Judy Shaffer of Mountain Home has two main goals as the leader of hospital auxiliaries in Arkansas – helping the groups rebuild from the Covid-19 pandemic and encouraging volunteers to take on leadership roles.

Shaffer is in the middle of a one-year term as president of the Arkansas Hospital Auxiliary Association. The association represents 57 auxiliaries.

“I think the biggest focus is getting the hospital auxiliaries up and running,” Shaffer said. “The pandemic really sort of hurt.”

“Some [volunteers] aren’t even allowed in some hospitals. That makes a big difference. Also, some volunteers never came back after the pandemic.”

Other groups are down to a handful of members. But Shaffer said they still get plenty accomplished.

“Four or five people can get a lot of work done.”

Another focus is mentoring folks to become involved in leadership. Shaffer has some experience in that area.

In addition to serving as bookkeeper and secretary-treasurer of the Baxter Health Auxiliary, she’s been district secretary and chairman, as well as state association secretary.

Still, she said found herself feeling the way many do when asked to assume a leadership role – plain old fear. Her friend and fellow Baxter Health volunteer leader Carolyn Hannon helped her take the leap to the presidency.

“She told me, ‘Judy, you can do it. You can do it. You’ll be great at it.’ And I can’t say no to Carolyn.”

Shaffer, 80, said the job has been fun. “There’s so much responsibility, but you meet so many people and you learn so much.”

Helping auxiliaries in Arkansas stay strong includes recruiting new volunteers, including younger people, she said. It’s also crucial that hospitals support their auxiliaries.

Shaffer said Baxter Health Auxiliary has that support.

“We are so fortunate the hospital backs us,” she said, adding, “If you have a good auxiliary, you can do anything.”