Volunteers offer invaluable care to patients, families at SSM Health- Dean - WI

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Published on March 15, 2017

Volunteers offer invaluable care to patients, families at SSM Health

As we look forward to National Volunteer Week in April, we want to pause and thank the hundreds of dedicated men and women who help our patients in innumerable ways. From helping visitors navigate hospital halls or selling delicious, fresh baked cookies to cuddling our tiniest NICU patients or comforting a patient who is dying without loved ones nearby, our volunteers touch the lives of our patients every day. We can’t imagine our hospitals without their dedicated service.

Ranging in age from 14 to 95, our volunteers provide high-quality services in dozens of areas of our hospitals. While opportunities vary between hospitals, we hope you will consider giving back to your hometown as a volunteer.

On our SSM Health St. Clare Hospital campus in Baraboo, volunteers greet patients and help in the hospital gift shop. Volunteers in the emergency department perform tasks and provide support to patients and families, allowing emergency department staff more time to focus on clinical care. Patient Companion volunteers spend time on the inpatient floor offering warm, safe and supportive care to enhance patients’ well-being. When a patient is nearing the end of life without loved ones nearby, volunteers from the No One Dies Alone program sit with them to provide comfort and companionship during the patient’s final hours.

At SSM Health St. Clare Meadows, a new volunteer opportunity called Cycling Without Age is just getting started. Through this program, volunteer pilots can take residents out for scenic rides using a specialized pedicab. If you’re interested in the Cycling Without Age program, an informational session is scheduled for April 8 at 9 am.

At SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital - Janesville, volunteers staff the gift shop, deliver mail, handle concierge duties and more. Therapy dog volunteers visit patients to brighten their day and volunteers sell fresh baked cookies the first Thursday of every month. A specialized group of volunteers also assists in the Eleventh Hour program. These specially trained volunteers are available to sit with and comfort patients who are far away from or without family in their final hours of life.

In Madison, SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital volunteers fill similar roles through the No One Dies Alone program, our pet therapy service and more. Volunteers help enhance the patient experience by offering complimentary aromatherapy hand massages. This service provides comfort and companionship. Patients often receive an additional boost in spirits from volunteers who hand deliver mail and flowers to patient rooms. In the gift shop, volunteers warmly welcome customers and provide exceptional customer service to patients and visitors. Proceeds from our gift shop benefit our patients and the community. Volunteers of all ages can often be seen helping transport patients around the hospital, including after discharge. Year-round a dedicated and talented group of volunteers knits or crochets prayer shawls and the tiny hats babies born at the hospital often wear home.

Volunteers at the SSM Health St. Mary’s Adult Day Health Center help staff by serving lunch and cleaning up following the daily meal. Another important volunteer duty includes spending one-on-one time with clients, offering a complete life review and providing companionship.

Residents at SSM Health St. Mary’s Care Center in Madison benefit from volunteers, including our TRIBEs program facilitators. TRIBE stands for True Relationships (I) Build Engagement. Each week residents check in with each other and enjoy a fun activity they plan together. This program, which engages and empowers residents, includes five groups who meet weekly with the help of volunteer facilitators and UW Nursing students. Our goal is to give each resident the opportunity to belong to a TRIBE. If you’d like to learn more about being a TRIBE facilitator, please contact Carmela Mulroe at 608-845-0582.

Because of the dedication, compassion and kindness of these incredible men and women, our hospitals are blessed to offer these additional care services to our patients. Thank you to each and every volunteer!

If you are interested in volunteering at an SSM Health facility, please complete our online volunteer application or call 608-356-1430 (Baraboo); 608-373-8082 (Janesville); 608-258-6640 (Madison).

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