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Volunteers with Saint Joseph Hospital and Saint Joseph East Earn Statewide Honor - Archived

Lexington, Ky. (May 20, 2019) – Volunteer groups from CHI Saint Joseph Health have received statewide recognition for a program that provides pocket-sized quilts to help hospital patients and family members cope with difficult situations.

The hospital volunteers from Saint Joseph Hospital and Saint Joseph East were recognized with HANDS Awards for exceptional service during the Kentucky Hospital Association’s (KHA) Volunteer Luncheon on Wednesday, May 8. The HANDS Award, which stands for Helping Accomplish Noteworthy Duties Successfully, recognizes outstanding volunteer and auxiliary programs in hospitals across Kentucky. The awards program took place during the 90th Annual KHA Convention in Lexington.

KHA selected the award-winning volunteers for their work with the Pocket Prayer Quilts program. Pocket Prayer Quilts are small quilt squares with a heart sewn inside, as a metaphor for love. They are offered to patients, loved ones and hospital staff during a time of need. Special quilts are sewn for those experiencing loss.

“With this program, we are able to share a gentle reminder to our patients and their families, as well as our staff and visitors, that they are in the thoughts and prayers of someone who cares,” said Leslie Buddeke Smart, CFRE, president, CHI Saint Joseph Health Foundations, which oversees the volunteer program. “We are so appreciative of our ‘Noggineers,’ our volunteers who lovingly craft the pocket prayer quilts and our spiritual care volunteers, who help distribute the pocket prayer quilts, and are pleased to see their commitment and compassion be recognized with this meaningful award.”

Volunteers are responsible for designing and crafting the quilts. Smart said the volunteer staff recently received a box of Pocket Prayer Quilts from Pennsylvania sewn by a family member who had visited someone at Saint Joseph Hospital and was given a prayer quilt while visiting. The Pocket Prayer Quilts are shared with people of all nationalities and faith traditions within the hospitals. “The universal language of healing, hope and love is shared with these small fabric squares,” Smart said.

To learn how you can create and share Pocket Prayer Quilts for patients and their families, visit If you are called to serve as a volunteer with CHI Saint Joseph Health in Lexington, call 859.313.1290.

About CHI Saint Joseph Health
CHI Saint Joseph Health, part of Catholic Health Initiatives, is one of the largest and most comprehensive health systems in the Commonwealth of Kentucky with 135 locations in 20 counties, including hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes and home health agencies. In total, the health system serves patients in 35 counties statewide. CHI Saint Joseph Health is dedicated to building healthier communities by elevating patient care through an integrated physical and behavioral health delivery system. CHI Saint Joseph Health embodies a strong mission and faith-based heritage and works through local partnerships to expand access to care in the communities it serves.

About Saint Joseph Hospital
Saint Joseph Hospital is a 433-bed hospital located in Lexington, KY. Established in 1877 by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth in Kentucky, the facility serves residents of central and eastern Kentucky and is a nationally recognized tertiary medical center. Saint Joseph Hospital is Lexington’s first hospital. The hospital’s original mission was to provide compassionate care to the poor and underserved – a tradition still carried out today.

About Saint Joseph East
Saint Joseph East is a 217-bed full service community hospital located in the southeastern section of Lexington, KY. Established in 1983, the facility serves residents of central and eastern Kentucky. At Saint Joseph East, ambulatory surgery, 24-hour emergency care and women’s health services are supported through a vast array of inpatient and outpatient programs.



For More Information:
Mary Branham, Director, Communications
P: 859.313.2642
[email protected]  

Publish date: 

Monday, May 20, 2019