John Girdwood is Coordinator of Volunteer Services at Visiting Nurse Association and Blue Water Hospice where he manages the program for the Eastern Michigan Region. Educated primarily at Michigan State University, his interests include health and well-being throughout the life course, including family and media influence on American sports participation. His graduate degree in administration allows Girdwood to bring prestige to an often undervalued role at hospice. As a national speaker on volunteer engagement and healthcare, he engages healthcare professionals “top down or bottoms up” to deliver the message of inclusion at every level. In addition to his role at VNA, he served as temporary Instructor of Sociology at University of Michigan – Flint, and adjunct faculty at Saginaw Valley State University and Delta College. He has also teaches at Michigan State University.
Together with executives and staff at his last post, Girdwood played an integral role on a committee leveraging a substantial endowment to establish a Hospice Foundation and fund raising department. His leadership skills work “on the ground” all the way up to the executive suites and he continually bridges the gap between broad corporate initiatives and those who deliver tangible services. A lifelong student and change agent, Girdwood utilizes a knowledge base of organizational structure, a creative mind, and a charismatic style to continually drive progress toward positive outcomes.
A member of several hospice and volunteer organizations, he previously served as regional representative for the Michigan Hospice Volunteer Coordinators Association. He has conducted Board of Directors recruitment, bringing three individuals to the Board of McLaren Homecare Group in 2011 and in the past, managed a group of Pro Bono Attorneys at Elder Law of Michigan. Girdwood maintains a volunteer role enrolling senior citizens in public benefits through the MiCAFE program.
2012 Current Role at VNA:
Co-project manager with Chief Operating Officer on rolling out new EMR (electronic medical records) system during fall 2012. Assist the Director of Business Development and Chief Development Officer with outreach and marketing strategy related to fund raising, donor, and volunteer contributions. Assist the Chief Financial Officer by supporting the technology acquisitions and distribution of employee business devices. Create sales collateral and communications media for CEO to distribute for both internal and external use.
- 2-year implementation of paperless record keeping system to track unpaid labor cost-savings averaging close to $500,000 annually
- Initiated several projects to stimulate growth through fund development including partnerships with the Detroit Lions, Detroit Pistons, Michigan State University, and the Buick Open (PGA)
- Participate in Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement team that originates concepts that gain board approval
- Personally responsible for recommending three new individuals to sit on board of directors
- Played vital role in launching Hospice Foundation, assisting Vice President in sustainability plan for $300,000 endowment
- Positioned subsidiary volunteer program into corporate 2012 integration focus
Appearance on ABC 12
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