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Patient and Family Interaction Volunteer Opportunities at UPMC

Volunteer opportunities on this page:

*Opportunities listed on this page do not reflect positions that are currently open, but positions that may be available to you. If you have questions or want more details about any of our programs, contact UPMC Volunteer Services.


The Cuddler Program

The Cuddler Program volunteers give physical comfort to babies going through drug withdrawal or neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). Volunteers hold and rock babies born to mothers who used heroin or other opioids during pregnancy.

Cuddling helps babies feel more relaxed and less irritable. It can also lead to reduced medication and length of hospital stay.

Accepting Cuddler Program volunteers at:

Note: This program is very popular. Please check with the Volunteer Services Office for openings.

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Doo Crew

The Doo Crew spends time talking with patients and wash their hair.

Accepting Doo Crew volunteers at:


Emergency Department Volunteers

Help the ED staff at UPMC by:

  • Comforting patients
  • Cleaning and sanitizing equipment
  • Stocking supplies
  • Other defined tasks

Accepting ED volunteers at:

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Emotional and Spiritual Support

Volunteers provide emotional and spiritual support to patients through:

  • Counseling
  • Companionship
  • Respite care

We also have programs such as:

  • Eucharist ministers
  • Hospice
  • NODA (No One Dies Alone)

Accepting emotional and spiritual support volunteers at:

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Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP)

HELP is a quality improvement program designed to prevent delirium in hospitalized patients age 70 and older.

HELP volunteers:

  • Meet and connect with patients.
  • Offer services to improve the quality of the patient’s stay.
  • Watch for signs of delirium.

Accepting HELP volunteers at:

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Magee Hat Makers

The Magee Hat Makers meet twice a month in the lobby at Magee-Womens Hospital to knit, crochet, and loom hats.

Volunteers make hats for newborns and "chemo caps" for cancer patients going through chemotherapy. They take the hats to patients to pick the one that “speaks” to them.

Accepting hat maker volunteers at:

Note: This Magee Hat Makers program is very popular. Please check with the Volunteer Services Office at Magee for openings.

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Music Volunteers

Volunteers can play music for patients throughout the hospital or during religious services.

Patients and visitors alike find the music very calming.

Accepting music volunteers at:

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Nursing Unit

Volunteers have the chance to help staff in many ways including:

  • Restocking medical supplies.
  • Filling water pitchers.
  • Emptying linen carts.
  • Visiting with patients and their loved ones.

Accepting nursing unit volunteers at:

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Patient Visitor and Transport

Tasks as a visitor and transport volunteer may include:

  • Helping patients and their families throughout UPMC hospitals.
  • Reading to patients.
  • Playing games with patients.
  • Sitting with and talking to patients and their loved ones.

Accepting transport volunteers at:

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Pet Therapy

Trained and certified pet therapy animals and their owners visit patients and staff throughout UPMC.

Our pet therapy dogs always bring a smile to all who see them.

Learn more about the benefits of Pet Therapy from UPMC HealthBeat »​

Accepting pet therapy volunteers at:

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Physical Therapy Escort

Volunteers provide patients with a friendly visit and escort them to physical therapy via wheelchair.

Accepting physical therapy volunteers at:

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To learn more about any of our volunteer programs, contact UPMC Volunteer Services.​​​​​​​​​​

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