Patient Reflections

Palmer's Volunteer

Patient turned volunteer - Charlotte Mihm gives back to PLHC

Cutline: Charlotte Mihm, rural St. Lucas, can be seen volunteering at Palmer, the facility that assisted with recovery from her triple-by-pass five years ago.

In a news story from 2005 regarding her triple-by-pass surgery and rehab at Palmer Lutheran Health Center’s Cardiac Rehab department, Charlotte Mihm was quoted as saying, “Well, maybe I will just volunteer at the hospital.”

And, now, five years later, current PLHC patients are greeted by Charlotte’s smiling face once a week as she volunteers her time at the local hospital.

Laughing, Charlotte remembers, “I was doing therapy at Cardiac Rehab and knew my time was drawing close to be done, but I didn’t want to leave just yet. So, the gals back there told me, ‘Charlotte, why don’t you volunteer here?’, got me in touch with Mary Guyer, the person in charge of volunteers, and I started.”

Raising two children with her husband, Donald, Charlotte knows all about helping others. Giving of herself, whether doing something, providing something or a simple smile, Charlotte has never thought of it as work, but as something she enjoys.

“I volunteer every Monday. I love volunteering at Palmer. I just love the people here; everyone is so nice. And, the place is just so beautiful, especially after the renovation.”

Volunteering most of her time in the place that helped her back on her feet, Cardiac Rehab, Charlotte does anything that is needed. There is always a box of stuff for Charlotte to do waiting for her on Monday mornings. A typical weekly task, making copies and booklets, Charlotte is usually seen around a printer with her big smile on!

“I just keep smiling. I try to keep lifting everyone’s spirits as much as I can. I used to sell Avon, so I know the importance of having a smile on. I have always tried making people happy each and every day.”

When not making copies, Charlotte can be seen serving mid-morning water to each patient at Palmer. Seeing her smiling face walking into their room, certainly makes for a happy patient.

“I just love what I do and everyone I do it with. I am so proud to say I’m a volunteer at Palmer Lutheran. I have enjoyed watching Cardiac Rehab continue to grow; each year more employees join the staff. I encourage everyone to come to Palmer for medical attention as it is a wonderful medical place that offers so many services…many of which I didn’t even know they offered. And, Deb Chensvold is such a great lady that you can see why Palmer is such a great hospital.”

When not busy volunteering, Charlotte can be seen with her husband, two children, and four grandchildren, gardening and doing anything outside. Another great love of Charlotte’s is reading, anything and everything. But, what people at Palmer Lutheran see is that great big smile that is always visible on Charlotte’s face each Monday!