SVMC names volunteer of the year


BENNINGTON — Everley St. Peter of Shaftsbury has been named Southwestern Vermont Health Care's 2019 Outstanding Volunteer of the Year, SVHC has announced.

The Outstanding Volunteer Award is given to the volunteer who shows dedication to patients and staff, provides excellent customer service, quality in all work that they do, and empathy and respect in all interactions with patients, staff, visitors, and fellow volunteers.

St. Peter has volunteered providing reiki to patients, visitors, and staff since 2005. Reiki is a form of integrative therapy that uses touch to promote healing. She discovered reiki after the events of Sept. 11, 2001, when she said, "I felt compelled to find something I could do to help my fellow man."

After a level one course, she found many willing to allow her to practice on them and soon had a loyal following, one of whom recommended she provide reiki at the hospital.

"That planted the seed for me to gather up the courage to find out if it was even possible," St. Peter said.

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"We are so grateful that Everley was inspired to bring her skills and compassion to us," said Jennifer Civello, SVHC's director of volunteer services and community outreach. "She and fellow reiki practitioner volunteer Phyllis Michaelson bring so much comfort to those they touch."

Thomas A. Dee, president and CEO of SVHC, presented the award at the Volunteer Appreciation Lunch at the Mount Anthony Country Club.

Other nominees included Mary Ann Carlson, of Arlington; Phyllis Michaelson, of North Pownal; Ron Myers, of Bennington; Cecil Potter, of Bennington; and Peggy Taber, of Hoosick Falls, New York. The event recognized each nominee and nearly 30 volunteers who had reached milestones from 100 to 11,500 hours.

"We appreciate each volunteer for offering their unique gifts and talents to the integral volunteer program at SVHC," Civello added.

For information about becoming a volunteer at SVHC, visit or call 802-440-4024.


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