FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Colleen Valdini
Public & External Affairs Manager
VP, Public & External Affairs
Phone: (631) 376-4104
Date: February 22, 2011
West Islip, NY – Kathryn Caulfield has had her eye on a career in health care for some time. The high school senior is one of the many young people who have participated in Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center’s Junior Volunteer Program for students 14–18 years old. As a group, these teens have contributed nearly 7,000 hours of service for 2010, a significant increase from the year before and an indication of how valuable volunteers are to the hospital.
“Good Sam’s Junior Volunteer Program is a great way to gain information and experience and is extremely useful for someone, like myself, who is interested in pursuing a career in the medical field,” explained Ms. Caulfield.
There is no doubt of the value of volunteerism as a résumé builder and a means to create interest on the part of college admissions representatives. Good Samaritan’s program offers personal and professional growth as well. The program’s application process culminates with an interview, with each successful candidate being placed in 1 of more than 15 areas of the hospital on a regular weekly shift. After orientation and training, volunteers commit to a career minimum of 50 hours of service. They are trained in the latest hospital protocols, including confidentiality, hand hygiene, customer service and noise reduction.
“I feel that as volunteers we touch the lives of others, and in the process we develop ourselves and make new friends. It’s the best way to do community service. You learn so much, and it is fulfilling,” commented Shannen Damroth, another dedicated junior volunteer.
Currently, there are more than 290 students participating in the program. Junior volunteers were recently offered the opportunity to receive CPR training, and after successful completion these volunteers were then eligible to transport patients. In addition to areas such as transport, medical records, acute care for the elderly and reception, a new volunteer position will be opening for front desk guest relations representatives. Only a select group of candidates can qualify and these volunteers will be given specialized training.
The program is coordinated by adult volunteers. They provide a structured program that is also flexible enough to students’ needs and schedules in exchange for quality and reliable service. Opportunities for competitive scholarships are available for those going on to study in the medical field.
“The Junior Volunteer program is the living example of people in action. The nearly 7,000 hours donated in 2010 assisted Good Samaritan in countless ways and benefited the participants with added experience, responsibility and maturity,” said Program Coordinator Judy Jackson.
Junior volunteers at Good Samaritan have the opportunity to enhance their personal development and learn skills that assist the hospital in providing its important services to the community.
“Volunteering has been something I’ve always loved doing and this opportunity at Good Sam has been a wonderful learning experience,” added Ms. Caulfield. For more information about the Junior Volunteer Program at Good Sam, please call (631) 376-4444.
Pictured (L-R): Bernadette Nee, Shannen Damroth, Judy Jackson, program coordinator, Kathryn Caulfield, Olga Floresta and Melissa Podolsky.
Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center is a 537-bed (including 100 nursing home beds), voluntary, not-for-profit hospital located in West Islip. The medical center, which has more than 4,500 employees and almost 900 physicians on staff, had more than 30,000 patient admissions and more than 95,000 emergency room visits in 2010. Good Samaritan is a member of Catholic Health Services of Long Island. Visit the website at www.good-samaritan-hospital.org.
Good Samaritan provides more than $49 million in community service and charity care each year. The medical center supplies residents with the tools necessary to maintain good health. This includes community lectures, screenings, health fairs and other community programs and services.