Mercy Volunteer Awarded OSHIIP Rookie Volunteer of the Year

Mercy Volunteer Awarded OSHIIP Rookie Volunteer of the Year

Posted on: May 4, 2011

Canton, Ohio: Mercy Medical Center volunteer Joan Garner was recently named Ohio Department of Insurance OSHIIP (Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program) Rookie Volunteer of the Year. Garner, a Canton resident and volunteer since 2009 has over 45 client contacts this year. To be nominated for Rookie Volunteer of the Year, the candidate must show extraordinary effort in grasping the duties of an OSHIIP volunteer, including maintaining client confidentiality, technical expertise, objectivity and an outstanding grasp of Medicare coverage and OSHIIP counseling skills.

“Joan has an outstanding grasp of Medicare coverage, and her counseling skills are remarkable,” says Terri Gursky, Mercy Senior Friends advisor and Stark County OSHIIP coordinator. “Joan may be a rookie, but her skills are of a seasoned veteran.” Garner is part of a program at Mercy called SHIP Mates. The hospital launched SHIP Mates in 2009 in collaboration with OSHIIP, as an outreach program designed to help individuals navigate health care with Medicare and other insurance plans. Mercy was among the first hospitals in Ohio to implement SHIP Mates.  Trained volunteers, called SHIP Mates, visit Medicare patients who are hospitalized at Mercy and offer to address their insurance questions or concerns. When Medicare patients leave the hospital, they are given a free SHIP Mates resource kit filled with helpful Medicare, OSHIIP and hospital information.  If you’d like to become an OSHIIP volunteer, the next training program will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on July 7, 14, 21 and 28 and from 1 to 4 p.m. on August 25 at Mercy Medical Center’s Mercy Hall auditorium.  Participants must attend all five sessions to be certified. For more information or to sign-up, call the Ohio Department of Insurance at 1-888-686-8657.

Mercy Medical Center, a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System operates a 476-bed hospital serving Stark, Carroll, Wayne, Holmes and Tuscarawas Counties and parts of Southeastern Ohio. It has 620 members on its medical staff and employs 2,500 people. Mercy operates outpatient health centers in Carrollton, Jackson Township, Lake Township, Louisville, North Canton, Plain Township and Tuscarawas County. A Catholic hospital, Mercy Medical Center upholds the mission and philosophy of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine and continues to be responsive to the needs of the community. For more information, see



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