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Janice Mazza

Janice Mazza

Position: Volunteer

Organization: Anaheim PD - RSVP, ARMC


What role does your nominee have in senior care and senior care issues?
Janice is a volunteer with over 1500 hours at Anaheim Regional Medical Center in their Double 11 surgery waiting room. As a Double 11 volunteer, Janice is a special liaison between what happens behind the doors and curtains in the surgery and ER, and the family and friends waiting in the outer rooms. She understands the special anxiety that family members feel in these extreme circumstances and is a soothing presence for them. Whether she is inviting them back to give a kiss to their loved one in the pre-op area before surgery, or keeping them abreast of when they might expect to see their loved one after surgery, she is a life-line for the family. She is also ARMC's first Vice President for the Hospital Guild.

In addition, she volunteers for the Anaheim Police Department's RSVP - Retired Senior Volunteer Patrol and is part of their YANA program - "You Are Not Alone." The YANA program was created for seniors who live alone and have called in to the police department for regular "check-in" visits. Janice and another volunteer will be assigned a route each week where they will check on several seniors, making sure they are OK, there are no issues that threaten safety or well-being, and perhaps performing a simple task while visiting. She is an important contact for seniors who may be failing and not realize that they are declining in general health or mental abilities.

Why should this person be nominated
Just one example of Janice's dedication to volunteering and caring for seniors involves an elderly gentleman who was part of the YANA program. Janice had become friends with this gentleman, as she does with many of her "check ins." Janice said, "My partners had completed a regular visit a few weeks prior to this incident and he was OK at that time. I decided to do a personal follow up weeks later, as he was not due for an official one yet." When Janice visited this time, he seemed to be having a bad case of indigestion, and he said that he'd had it for days. Janice was suspicious that this might be an indicator of a heart attack and was immediately concerned. She insisted he go to the hospital and took him herself. If Janice hadn't gone above and beyond her regular duties as a volunteer, this gentleman would most likely not be with us. When he was checked out in the ER, they found his condition was life-threatening, and ultimately performed heart by-pass surgery that saved his life!

No matter what duty Janice is performing, she does so with a servant's heart and a smile that lights up the room. One of her many admirers said, "Janice is a wonderful example at 83 of what we should all grow up to be!"