Contributed photo
The first group of volunteers celebrated volunteer week at an orientation program at Astera Health in Wadena.

Astera Health celebrated National Volunteer Week by bringing back its volunteer program. This program was on hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“Our volunteer program had existed for many years, but like many programs, it was halted due to a shifted focus on COVID. We know the efforts of our volunteers are welcomed by our patients, visitors, and staff. We are grateful to have so many community members helping us make the patient experience even better,” said Joel Beiswenger, CEO and President of Astera Health. 

The volunteer program offers an opportunity for volunteers to contribute in a way they feel comfortable with. From sitting with a patient to sewing at home, volunteers give support that medical staff members cannot easily provide. 

According to the US Census Bureau, Minnesota ranked third in the country for volunteerism in 2021. Harvard studied the benefits and discovered volunteerism extends the life of those volunteers who devote as little as two hours per week. Additionally, the study showed people who volunteer are more physically active and improve their sense of well-being compared to those who do not. 

To learn more about volunteer opportunities, visit or call (218) 631-7499.