The recent renovation and expansion at Susquehanna Health's three hospital campuses is an asset to the communities served in northcentral Pennsylvania, but with the development of additional space, state-of-the-art facilities and enhanced services comes an expanded need for hospital volunteers.
"The expansion of Williamsport Regional Medical Center has increased opportunities for volunteers, which is very exciting," says health system Director of Volunteer Services Whitney Bernan.
Opportunities exist for everything from volunteer clerks to staff the hospital gift shop in the evening to volunteer pianists who can entertain visitors and patients on a newly acquired Steinway grand piano to a foreseeable need for volunteer "coaches" - former patients who have experienced procedures such as joint or spine surgery and who are willing to spend time with new patients to be an encouragement.
Hospital volunteerism is a way for individuals to invest in their community using the resources that are not necessarily financial in nature.
Volunteers Donald and Donna Krupilis have served patients and staff at Divine Providence Hospital for the last two to three years. Following retirement, Donald worked part-time as a hospital valet. After experiencing what a difference he could make in someone's life simply by greeting them or offering assistance, he also noted the hospital's need for volunteers. Donald encouraged his wife, Donna, to get involved.
In 2009, Donna began volunteering at the Susquehanna Health Cancer Center assisting patients through the card scanning process at the information desk.
"Sometimes patients aren't sure what to do. It can be a little unnerving," Donna said. "So, you see what you can do to help them feel at ease ... and you keep the coffee pot going."
Donna also helps with filing in the radiation department and at the Kathryn Candor Lundy Breast Health Center to allow staff to focus on more urgent duties.
"Many times, just seeing a familiar, friendly face means more than anything to (a patient)," Donald said. "Helping them to feel comfortable and welcome is of great comfort to them."
For more information, visit SusquehannaHealth.org/Volunteers.