Toni Dale

Toni Dale was surprised at her volunteer gig at Great Plains Health’s Imaging Center on Thursday, when she found out she had been chosen one of this year’s Telegraph’s volunteers.

Toni Dale has volunteered with Hospice Care for years. She also spends time volunteering at Great Plains Health’s Same Day Surgery and the hospital’s Imaging Center. She gives rides to friends in need and volunteers at her church.

When Dale’s husband was dying, the Hospice Care process was “one of the things that helped me the most,” she said. She learned that Hospice Care is about the decisions of the person who is dying.

“It helped me be more aware.”

Dale has volunteered with Hospice Care for 10 years, starting before her husband’s death, she said. For the last six years or so, she’s spent time in same-day surgery. At the Imaging Center, she makes patients feel at ease, and can “help them feel more prepared.”

“It’s nice for someone to have someone who’s not clinical,” said Julie Calahan, director of Volunteer Services for Great Plains Health. She said that many women who come to the Imaging Center are waiting for test results about tumors or other uncertain news.

“It’s nice to have that friendly face,” she said, adding that Dale is passionate, and always looking for ways to improve and learn.

Dale has become friends with other volunteers and is well-known by hospital staff.

“I don’t know that there’s anything better to do,” she said of volunteering.

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