Lifeline Volunteers Recognized for Helping Seniors Live at Home with Dignity and Pride

Published: Monday, July 9, 2018

Lifeline, an affiliate of Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC), recently recognized volunteers who work with the emergency response system during a luncheon at Lake Lanier Island’s Legacy Lodge Resort & Conference Center. Volunteers were honored for their service and commitment to preserving the dignity of the physically disabled, medically at-risk and senior adults in our community.

Special guests from NGMC included John Turner, vice president of Acute Care Services; Lynne Allen, director of Volunteer Services; Scott Masters, director of Emergency Medical Transport, White County EMS and Lifeline; Samuel Huggan, Philips Lifeline accounts manager; Kathleen Cole, Lifeline subscriber; and Dianne Appling, Lifeline coordinator. Each special guest personally thanked the volunteers for their vision and dedication to the betterment of our community.

“Lifeline gives me peace of mind because I know help is only a phone call away,” said Kathleen Cole, Lifeline subscriber. “Lifeline gave me the security that every elderly person deserves. In fact, many times our lives are in your hands.”

John Turner, vice president of Acute Care Services at NGMC, spoke passionately about how he is inspired by all volunteers who dedicate their time to the program.

“Volunteers have a profound effect on everyone, including patients and employees,” said Turner. “They are trusted by the staff and have an innate ability to work with anyone, while providing exceptional care – with a smile.”

Medical Center Auxiliary volunteers Mr. and Mrs. Jim Telford founded Lifeline of Northeast Georgia Medical Center 34 years ago. The two formed and co-chaired a committee to research emergency response systems. The first unit was installed by Catherine Telford for Ms. Ocie Pope, founder of the Hall School of Nursing, on September 18, 1984.

During the course of three decades, Lifeline volunteers have installed 2,928 units, driven 1,034,886 miles and given more than 43,646 volunteer hours – allowing subscribers to continue living independently, in their homes, with the security of knowing they can quickly access help if they need it.

 “The Lifeline volunteers are the heart of the program,” said Dianne Appling, Lifeline coordinator. “It is an honor to stand behind the wealth of knowledge, compassion and commitment each one of you display. I wish to take this opportunity to thank the volunteers and all of you in the organization for your support over these past 34 years.”

Alongside his wife Dianne Appling, Stan Appling spoke during the luncheon on “What is a Lifeline Volunteer?” Among his remarks was the fact that Lifeline volunteers are those people who are passionate about serving and willing to do whatever is needed, no matter the nature of the task.

“Lifeline volunteers are more than volunteers,” Appling said. “They are servants masquerading as volunteers.”

For more information about the Lifeline program, new wireless equipment or to request information about how to become a volunteer, call 770-219-8899. Lifeline serves subscribers in Hall, White, Lumpkin, Dawson, Forsyth, Stephens, Rabun, Towns, Union, Banks, Jackson, Habersham and Barrow Counties.



Since 1951, Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) has been on a mission of improving the health of our community in all we do. With hospitals located in Gainesville, Braselton and Barrow – the three NGMC campuses have a total of 713 beds and more than 800 medical staff members representing more than 50 specialties. NGMC is part of Northeast Georgia Health System, a non-profit that cares for more than 1 million people across more than 18 counties. Learn more at