When Irv Gotsche ran into a friend at what is now St. Rose Health Center, little did he know it was the beginning of a long-standing relationship with the facility.
That chance meeting led Gotsche to volunteering to help St. Rose patients, families and visitors for 25 years and counting.
“My friend was a volunteer who escorted patients to their destinations,” Gotsche recalled. “I showed an interest and she recommended I talk to the head of the volunteers, who then gave me a tour.
“I have been here every Thursday since then, except for the times I was facing health problems,” the Great Bend man added. “The most important part of this is meeting people and helping people.”
Gotsche said he tries to make a point of greeting everyone who comes through the door. “Just a smile can mean a lot to someone,” he explained.
The veteran volunteer recommends that people consider St. Rose if they are looking for a way to give back to the community.
“It’s especially important after you retire,” he noted. “If you don’t keep your mind active, you will go backwards. That is what happens. Many people retire at 65 and if they are not active, they sometimes face health problems.”
Gotsche was a petroleum engineer and superintendent at the National Cooperative Refinery Association until his retirement in 1988.
“I couldn’t play golf all the time,” he laughed. “So I did something else.”
That “something else” included service at St. Rose and local charities. “But St. Rose is all I do now,” he commented. “I have always been here and I like the people. I have a sense of loyalty to St. Rose.”
Gotsche noted that while escorting people is his main job, other volunteer positions are available in The Gift Box; and sometimes there is clerical work. The amount of time donated each week or month is up to the volunteer.
Currently, St. Rose has 26 volunteers, many of whom recently attended an appreciation luncheon. Ideally, the roster would have 40 names.
Anyone interested in volunteering is encouraged to contact St. Rose Administrative Services Manager Carol Gotsche by calling 620-786-6163.
St. Rose specializes in primary care, prevention and wellness. Services include St. Rose Family Medicine, Convenient Care Walk-in Clinic, Great Bend Internists, imaging, Cardiac Rehab, Special Nursing Services, one-day surgical procedures, Golden Belt Home Health & Hospice and a comprehensive Specialty Clinic. St. Rose is co-owned by Hays Medical Center and Centura Health.