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Leading by Example: Consummate Volunteer Rose Faucette Receives Health Care Heroes Award

Rose looks out over the Strong Memorial Hospital Main Lobby Atrium during our interview.Thousands of Rochester area families come to the Family Waiting Room at Strong Memorial Hospital each year to be there for a friend or family member receiving preventive treatment or emergency life-saving surgery. Thanks to the steadfast dedication of a small team of volunteers — most notably retired Rochester City Elementary School teacher Rose Faucette — their wait is more comfortable and reassuring than it might otherwise be.

Her dedicated service in our Family Waiting Room, combined with her impressive leadership of the Friends of Strong Council and countless hours helping organize many successful hospital fundraisers, are among the many reasons Rose is recognized as one of this year’s Health Care Heroes by the Rochester Business Journal.

A Beacon of Compassionate Care

Rose poses for a picture with a patient while making annual holiday poinsettia deliveries.Inspired by the excellent family-centered care she describes receiving throughout her late husband’s battle with cancer, Rose began volunteering in our Family Waiting Room in 2011, and “quickly became a familiar face, greeting families whose loved ones are in surgery and ensuring they each receive clinical updates with a kind, compassionate and respectful touch,” says Sandy Arbasak, director of Friends of Strong Memorial Hospital. “That goes a long way toward easing the fear and uncertainty that might accompany the surgery of a friend or family member.”

Rose turns her chair to smile for a picture while volunteering at the information desk in the Family Waiting Room.Altogether, Rose has volunteered more than 6,500 hours to provide that touch of comfort and reassurance to patients and families. As the hospital’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Kathy Parrinello points out, Rose is a caregiver; kind and welcoming to those experiencing what may be very challenging, critical and unexpected moments as they await word on a loved one’s condition during and immediately following surgery. “Her endearing smile and gentle personality help provide comfort and encouragement,” she says.

“Each day I volunteer brings me rewarding experiences," Rose says. "Especially when families receive good news. Those are rewarding and fulfilling moments.”

“Fellow volunteers look up to Rose as an advisor, a leader and a friend,” adds Joyce Stadtmiller, Volunteer Program Manager. “She’s always willing to teach and guide new volunteers on the delicate nature of their service.”

An Indelible Calling

Rose developed a strong interest in public service at an early age. In addition to working on her school newspaper and year book committees, she served as a youth recreation counselor and spent several summers volunteering at the local Amsterdam, New York hospital where she learned to operate the switchboard and page doctors. “I Guess I was in training for the Family Waiting Room,” she says with a smile.

Rose is also a certified New York State Ombudsman, serving at Monroe Community Hospital, where she advocates for residents of the Friendship Unit. “I try to be kind, compassionate and respectful,” she says.

Rose and Dr. Ruth Lawrence smile for a picture at the dedication of a lactation room Friends of Strong funded during her time as Council President.While Rose channels her teaching skills and experiences to help connect with and comfort patients and families, she also seeks out ways to support and grow Friends of Strong’s impact. In addition to volunteering in the waiting room and at just about all of our events, she also serves on several fundraising committees, and also served on the Friends of Strong Leadership Council — first as an at-large member (2012-2014), then President-Elect (2014-2015), President (2015-2018), and Advisor to the President (2018-2019). As Friends of Strong Council President, she also served as an Ex Officio member of the URMC Board of Directors.

“Rose embraced the leadership role with grace and determination, seeking new ways to encourage the organization forward both in strengthening its volunteer program, and growing its fundraising initiatives to new heights,” Parrinello says. “You’d be hard-pressed to hear Rose decline a new idea or request for help at an event or fundraiser.”

Rose’s passion for helping Friends of Strong is perhaps most pronounced in her tenure as Council President from 2015 to 2018, when she empowered us to reach our long-desired goal of raising annual funds of $1 million in a single year.

All of those funds support many meaningful patient- and family-centered initiatives throughout the hospital, from providing safe sleep infant swaddles to every baby born at strong, to live musical programming for patients and families to enjoy, and many other initiatives geared to improve the patient and family experience.

“We cannot thank Rose enough for her time, devotion and enthusiasm to uphold our mission to provide support and services to the hospital's patients, families, visitors and staff,” Arbasak adds.


Matt Ulakovic | 4/20/2020

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