CONTACT. “Peggy” Salisbury 908-771-5730;
Norma T. Sheld 908-771-5815


Patricia Scott, RUNNELLS Hospital Volunteer Services
and Activities Therapy Director Honored by Volunteer Guild

pat scott honored by volunteer guild
Scott honored for 25 years of exceptional work at RUNNELLS Hospital.
Patricia Scott, AD of Union, Director of Volunteer Services and Activities Therapy for RUNNELLS (left) reaches for her gift from The Volunteer Guild of RUNNELLS Specialized Hospital of Union County. Looking on are: Mary Ann “Tommie” Kelhoffer of Martinsville, Guild vice president and Leonard Forgione of New Providence, president of RUNNELLS’ Volunteer Guild.

Members of the Volunteer Guild of RUNNELLS Specialized Hospital of Union County gathered at RUNNELLS to honor Patricia Scott of Union, Director of Volunteer Services and Activities Therapy. Many quietly wondered if the secret would be kept since Scott didn’t know she was being singled out for her 25-years of excellence to the facility’s residents and patients.

“Pat Scott’s staff provides the residents of RUNNELLS SpecializedHospital with activities that epitomize RUNNELLS’ Values of ‘Caring’,” stated Leonard Forgione, Guild president.

Forgione noted that during just the last few months, Pat arranged for activities that included: a Halloween party and haunted house; trips to the Watchung Hills High School play, a hibachi restaurant, the Paper Mill Playhouse as well as to see holiday lights. Special events included a wine and cheese social; ecumenical Thanksgiving Service; the tree trimming and choral concert and Chanukah service.”

“Pat Scott is more than deserving of being honored,” said Union County Freeholder Chester Holmes, RUNNELLS liaison. “She took her first steps toward her career years before when she was a student at Arts High School in Newark where she was a voice and instrumental major. After high school she attended Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia where she was a voice and piano major in the school’s Conservatory of Music, earning dual Bachelor of Arts degrees, one in Music Education and a second in Music Therapy. Scott completed her internship in Music Therapy at the Cedar Lake Home Campus in West Bend, Wisconsin; a healthcare facility that served as an Alzheimer’s community and nursing home setting.”

Scott said that when she was only eight, a group of RUNNELLS patients visited Scott’s church (Wallace Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church of Summit) for a concert. Since a few church members were patients at Runnells, Scott had always been aware of Runnells existence.

“I was impressed by how the music helped these individuals forget about their problems and opened-up new avenues for expressing their creativity,” Scott noted. “I never forgot about my experience with the folks from RUNNELLS. After that concert it inspired me to want to work at Runnells.”

“Pat began at Runnells as a music therapist back in 1983, Freeholder Holmes added. “In 1993 she took over the Activities Therapy Department as Chief Recreation Therapist and Volunteer Director. After several years wearing both hats, the positions were separated leaving Pat to focus on the ever expanding Activities Therapy program, all the while working closely with the Volunteer Coordinator and many times taking a leadership role in the Volunteer Guild Activities. In 2005 the Volunteer Director position was vacated and Pat became Acting Director of Volunteer Services; in 2006 Pat again assumed the permanent title of Director of Activities Therapy/Volunteer Services. What an excellent history Pat has and what a dedicated, caring individual she is.”

Guild president Forgione described Scott as life in motion, always happy and upbeat; the only person he knows that could make Grumpy the dwarf smile.

“She willingly helps other hospital departments and always considers the residents in everything she does.” He observed that Pat “loves her staff and the volunteers” and that “we the volunteers love Pat Scott for her dedicated services to all residents and volunteers.” Forgione thanked her for always being there for the volunteers and for making Runnells “home” for all residents.

Scott’s supervisor Barbara Baldasarre of Scotch Plains, Runnells’ Administrative Director of Professional & Support Services used words like: active, creative, imaginative and tireless to describe Scott. She also used thoughtful, truthful and terrific. Everyone there agreed.

Scott finally had a chance to thank the Guild for the formal appreciation of her and her work. She unpretentiously said that without the Guild underwriting the cost, her staff couldn’t do what they do for the residents and patients and that she has been able to hire many creative people. “It’s a blessing to come here every day.”

Joseph Sharp, facility administrator noted, “I can’t say enough good things about the Activities Therapy program. Selecting Pat was a good decision.”

Runnells Specialized Hospital is located at 40 Watchung Way in Berkeley Heights.