General Information

AHA Honors Sutter Davis Hospital Volunteer Program

The American Hospital Association (AHA) announced Sutter Davis Hospital in Davis, California, as a 2016 Hospital Award for Volunteer Excellence (HAVE) recipient. The AHA HAVE Awards Program is in its 33rd year and highlights the extraordinary efforts of volunteers and volunteer programs and the positive impact their contributions have on the patients, hospitals, health systems and communities they serve.

Winners fall into four categories: community service programs; community outreach and/or collaboration programs; fundraising programs; and in-service hospital volunteer programs. Sutter Davis Hospital received the community service program award. Additional recipients of this year’s prestigious award hail from Minnesota, Massachusetts and Colorado. Representatives from these winning programs will receive their awards at the HAVE Awards Breakfast on Monday, May 2, during the AHA Annual Membership Meeting in Washington, D.C. 

To view the official press release from AHA, click here.

Community Service Programs
Doula Volunteer Program
Sutter Davis Hospital/Sutter Health – Davis, Calif.

The goal of the Doula Volunteer Program is to provide free doula support to laboring or postpartum patients. The term doula comes from the Greek word meaning “a woman who serves.”  Volunteer doulas are non-clinical members of the care team who provide support in accordance with the medical and midwifery plan of care and a patient’s preference. The doula’s role includes hands-on physical and psychological support during birth.

Some 23 percent of the hospital’s 1,500 births annually are attended by volunteer doulas. Patients attended by doulas have fewer medical interventions, improved bonding with their babies, higher breastfeeding rates, lower cesarean rates, fewer incidents of post-partum depression and mood disorders and lower medication usage. 

Volunteer doulas are required to participate in a robust community outreach program to educate the public about the impact doulas can have on patient care. The doulas are also included in care improvement meetings that include patients, families, nurses, midwives, physicians, nurse practitioners and childbirth educators. 

The doula program has been active since 1994, and now includes 75 volunteers from the community. Doulas receive continuing education and are required to fulfill a two-year commitment of a minimum of 16 hours of call each month. The program also serves as a workforce recruiting tool for new registered nurses seeking training opportunities.