Having worked at Citizens Memorial Hospital (CMH) as a patient account manager for over 30 years, the subsequent next step for Judy Johnson was to stay on as a volunteer after retiring. In her 12 years of volunteering, Johnson has dedicated her time to the Tremain Family Hospitalist House, Douglas Medical Center and the Carrie J. Babb Cancer Center as well as serving as the fundraising chairperson on the CMH Auxiliary Board. “I’m proud of CMH and what it stands for in this community,” Johnson says. “It makes an impression on you. CMH is a good place to go.”
Johnson’s devotion to CMH shines through in all of her roles, with a passion for caretaking coming naturally to her. Having worked as her parents’ caretakers before they passed away, and now helping her husband battle cancer for the past 10 years, Johnson has a true understanding of what others in the hospital are undergoing. “My mom and dad were very caring people, and there was never anybody they couldn’t help,” she says. “I feel that same passion for making people happy; whether it be in your daily walk here or wherever you go, if you can make a difference in someone’s life it’s great.”
Due to the treatment her husband receives at CMH, Johnson gets a firsthand look at the impact volunteers in the hospital can make for both patients and their families, which drives her passion for her own work.
One of her favorite ways to make a difference has been serving the Tremain Family Hospitalist House, which operates similarly to Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), offering a place for families to stay while loved ones receive treatment. Her passion for the Tremain House stems from the premature birth of her grandson. While he stayed in the neonatal care unit for several weeks at CoxHealth, Johnson and her daughter stayed at RMHC to be nearby. “I saw what a need there was for that and how much it could help people,” she says. “I like to help people have the best kind of life they can, which is why I started because I could see such a need in that field.”
Through her time volunteering, Johnson has been thankful for all that volunteering has brought to her life but is especially thankful for the perspective it provides. “Sometimes we think we’re the only ones going through trials, but you see people coming in dealing with big things,” she says. Despite knowing many entering the doors of CMH are facing many difficulties, Johnson believes each volunteer can make a difference. “Volunteers can make a big impact, they just need to have a smile on their face and song in their heart,” she says.