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Friends & Neighbors

Christine Burnside wears many hats at Emmanuel Community -- and recently, she has put on one more.

Since December, Burnside has been the coordinator of volunteer services at Emmanuel. A three-year member of Emmanuel's administrative team, Burnside will continue to coordinate its health information and quality assurance programs as well.

Volunteer service is an important part of the equation for Burnside, who wholeheartedly embraces a philosophy that has come to be known as "the Emmanuel way."

"From our leadership to our direct care staff to our volunteers and Auxiliary members, the culture here is definitely family oriented," she explained. "We all need each other."

Burnside, who calls herself "a native of both Callaway and Lake Park," having spent her early childhood living in Callaway and her teen years in Lake Park, is no stranger to the lakes area. Yet when she moved to Detroit Lakes several years ago to take a job at St. Mary's Regional Health Center, she felt like one.

"I was single, and didn't know that many people," she said.

It was through volunteer service that she finally started to feel at home in the community.

"My orientation to volunteering was buttering buns for a funeral at Holy Rosary Church," she said. "I felt so welcome. The crux of volunteering is about serving, and reaching out.

"I was there for the family (of the deceased) that day. In return, I received so much... It's a civic duty, but also an honor, to give back to society. I truly believe we all belong to each other."

Emmanuel Community de-pends heavily on its volunteers, Burnside added, to be able to provide the high level of care it gives to those who live on its campus, which includes Emmanuel Nursing Home, Lamplighter Manor and The Madison Senior Housing.

"We all work hard here," she said. "We have an awesome team... it's truly a family."

Burnside's duties as volunteer coordinator include matching those who volunteer with the programs or services that match their own interests and skills.

"Volunteering is about more than just filling in a body," she explained. "It's about bringing your talents, experience and special gifts to the (Emmanuel) family."

As part of her duties as volunteer coordinator, Burnside also works with the Emmanuel Auxiliary, which operates the facility's gift shop.

"The gift shop is right across the hall from my office," she said. "I'm a frequent customer. Some great people work there, and they're wonderful to visit with."

Burnside feels working with Emmanuel's volunteers blends well with her quality assurance duties, which involve making sure Emmanuel maintains its high standard of care and quality of life for those who live there.

"Every team member at Emmanuel participates in quality assurance," she added. "It's totally a team effort -- great people who give great care."

Christine and her husband, Jon Burnside, who works as a medical services coordinator at Lakes Homes, Inc., reside in Detroit Lakes.

She holds a bachelor's degree in health services administration from Minnesota State University Moorhead, and an associate degree in medical administrative support from Minnesota State Community & Technical College (formerly Northwest Technical College).

Her previous career experience includes working at the Mahnomen Health Center as a certified nursing assistant and ward clerk before "moving over to the business side" -- medical records. She also spent six years at St. Mary's Regional Health Center, including two years in medical records and another four hears as an administrative assistant in St. Mary's Nursing Center. She will celebrate her third anniversary with Emmanuel in June.

Burnside is also an active member of Holy Rosary Catholic Community, Kiwanis, the Advisory Board for Minnesota State Community & Technical College's Medical Support Programs as well as the Advisory Board for Minnesota State University-Moorhead's Health Services Administration Program. She is a member of the American Health Information Management Association.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454