As the old saying goes, “It takes a village…” NCH is no different – it takes thousands of employees and hundreds of volunteers to provide safe, welcoming and compassionate healthcare to our community.
April 17-23 is national Volunteer Appreciation Week and we plan to celebrate with a “You’re Our Hero” theme.
In the years before the pandemic, we were fortunate to rely on nearly 800 active volunteers. However, in an abundance of caution, in 2020 and part of 2021 we sent our volunteers home for their own safety. As we have slowly welcomed back our faithful helpers, we are currently working with 300 who assist with critical roles that are essential in helping us continue providing the excellent seamless care to our patients – like welcoming patients and guests at our entrances, transporting discharged patients by wheelchair and providing care cart rides.
“Volunteers are truly our real-life superheroes,” says Stephanie Chan Vo, Director of Guest Services. “A heartfelt thank you for all of your help, especially this past year. We couldn’t have done it without you!”
In 2021 our amazing volunteers contributed 34,768.25 hours of work – that equates to $992,285.85 in pay. (This is based on The Independent Sector 2021 national value of volunteer time which is $28.54/hour.) These indispensable helpers hold forty different roles throughout the entire organization.
Last year a brand new role was created – volunteer in the NCH COVID Vaccine Clinic. Those volunteers were instrumental in potentially lifesaving work. At the Clinic, we were able to administer more than 41,000 doses of both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for those ages 5 and up. That took a massive amount of planning and organization that we couldn’t have done without those individuals.
Have you ever thought about volunteering but just didn’t know what you could offer? There are all sorts of roles and in multiple locations – here are just some of the positions: attendants in the Busse Center & North Pavilion, Main Lobby welcome desk, Animal Assisted Therapy handlers, Nutrition and Food Service, Gift Shop, Breast Center, Supply and Distribution, Kildeer Outpatient Care Center, Surgical Services and Wellness Center – Physical Therapy. Students are welcome to apply for our summer volunteer program. The student program is a great way for them to get a taste of healthcare and experience for their college applications.
To volunteer, you need to be 16 or older and able to commit at least four hours per week for a minimum of six months. Positions are available seven days a week with a variety of shifts. Evening and weekend positions are in high demand and generally have less availability. Please visit https://www.nch.org/volunteer/ to learn more and complete an application.