Pet Therapy Volunteer
UPMC Hillman Cancer Center
“Over the years my friends and family who were on the "cancer journey" were blessed to have staff and volunteers who were kind, compassionate and who even brought some laughter during trying times. Volunteering at UPMC Hillman St Clair not only gives me the opportunity to pay it forward, it is also a gift to be able to share my dogs with others. Watching the dogs bring a smile to staff, patients' and their family's faces and seeing how they magically let them shift their focus, even for a little while, is an experience that I am grateful for every time I visit.”
"As the Posner Tower volunteer greeter, countless patients and their families are always thanking us for the compassion, kindness and care they have received from everyone at Shadyside Hospital. My heart bursts with honor and pride to be affiliated with the Shadyside family. Compassion is our passion, and we all love to help others, because someday we may need help too!"
"My time at UPMC East has been a very positive experience. The staff and fellow volunteers are both friendly and respectful. I came with reservations since I did not come from a background of working with the public. I can truly say that I have gotten more out of my time here than i have given."
Patient Care Volunteer on Surgical Oncology Unit (4 Main)
"Every time that I left my volunteering shift, I felt a fulfillment unlike that of any other experience I've had. My position allowed me to get to know the patients beyond a simple 'Hi, how are you doing?' On most days, I kept company with patients who might not have received many visitors. I listened to them share stories of how they met their spouses, their favorite aspect of their jobs, their hobbies and future dreams, and importantly, their worries about their diagnoses. It felt great being able to bring smiles to their faces in the midst of a stressful hospital stay. This experience allowed me to learn the importance of forming a trusting relationship with your care-provider and has reaffirmed my desire to become a physician myself."
"The act of washing someone's hair is simple. However, what is really important sometimes is listening. I always start with a simple question or comment... 'So, are you from Pittsburgh?' And then, I let the patients guide the conversation. Sometimes, patients don't want to talk and the conversation ends there, allowing them to relax as they get their hair washed. But once in a while, patients open up and talk about their families, their life story, or their hopes and dreams. It is really powerful to have someone confide in you that way and many people just want someone to listen to them, to care. Overall, my experience has allowed me to turn other peoples' days around, turn my own day around, and has made me realize that I have a passion for medicine and working with people."
Volunteer of the Year, UPMC Northwest
"The more you give, the more you get back. Many places are in need of volunteers and everybody has something to give."
Anesthesia Workroom, Clerical and Global Links Volunteer
"Volunteering at Presby has given me more opportunities than I could have ever imagined and being able to help my community even in the slightest way is so rewarding!"
Healing Notes and Doo Crew Volunteer
"I began volunteering here at Shadyside Hospital last year. I am part of Healing Notes where my sister and I play music for the patients as well as the Do Crew where we wash their hair. Being a volunteer has been a life changing experience, because it allows you to connect with people during some of their most trying times. You learn to be there for the patients, even if it is for just those twenty minutes, because those twenty minutes may be the best part of their day. We know it’s definitely ours."
UPMC Hillman Cancer Center
“Volunteering at Hillman Cancer Center has been one the most rewarding experiences I have ever had the opportunity to engage in. The patients at the Center are going through a difficult time during their lives, and I am glad that I am able to make some small positive change in their life. As a float volunteer, I have been at many different positions, and it has been quite an experience. I love the feeling I get every day when I go to Hillman, I will have something new or different to do - whether it is rounding the (patient) floors with a cart of goodies, providing lunches, making cards, or greeting new patients as they enter the Cancer Center, I am proud that I can make some small difference in the lives of the patients and attempt to ease them as much as possible during their time at Hillman Cancer Center.”
Former NODA and 4D Cardiology Volunteer
"Volunteering at UPMC was a powerful learning experience in an exciting place. My work helped both patients and their healthcare providers. These experiences built up my familiarity with hospital work environments and developed my appreciation of how critical the roles of non-physician healthcare workers are for patients. Furthermore, through extensive patient interaction, I gained an understanding of the daily lives of patients staying in the hospital."