Longtime Ionia Volunteer Named Volunteer of the Year

Published: February 6, 2024

IONIA, MI – Sparrow Ionia Hospital volunteer Sandy Olson was recently named Sparrow Women’s Board of Managers Volunteer of the Year for 2023.

Olson is the second recipient of the Sparrow Women’s Board of Managers Volunteer of the Year award, given to one of Sparrow’s 700 active volunteers. With the belief that people should strive to give back to the community and be a productive member of society, she has been volunteering at Sparrow Ionia since 1999. Her current responsibilities include assisting patients and their families in the surgical waiting area and putting together packets of postoperative information for surgical patients.

Sandy Olson, Ionia - Volunteer of the Year 2023

“Sandy has completed over 370 hours of volunteering for Sparrow Ionia Hospital in 2023. Her willingness to share both her time and compassion speaks to both her strength and quality of character,” stated Steve Dexter, director of operations at Sparrow Eaton and Ionia Hospitals. “Her generosity has had a profound and lasting impact on Sparrow Ionia Hospital and our community.”

In addition to volunteering her time at Sparrow Ionia, Olson is active in volunteer organizations in the Portland community such as a soup project, the Portland Community Fund Association and Backpack for Bellies. Outside of her volunteer activities, she swims one day a week, walks two miles four to five times a week, and enjoys cross-country skiing.

Olson grew up in the Irish Hills with her family, who moved frequently along with their eight children, because of her father’s job as a highway worker. She is an Eastern Michigan University graduate who retired after 33 years as a physical education teacher at Waverly Middle School.

To learn more about becoming a volunteer at Sparrow, visit Sparrow.org/Volunteer.


Sparrow is Mid-Michigan’s premier healthcare organization and includes hospitals in Lansing, Carson City, Charlotte, Ionia and St. John, as well as Sparrow Specialty Hospital, Sparrow Care Network, Sparrow Medical Group, the Michigan Athletic Club, and AL!VE. Sparrow is part of University of Michigan Health. Through the dedication of our 10,000 caregivers, Sparrow pursues a vision to be nationally recognized as a leader in quality and patient experience. For more information, visit Sparrow.org.