Page 20


Giving Back “I

get so much more out of volunteering than I give,” is something I’ve heard from every volunteer I’ve ever talked to. To give of one’s self has numerous

health and psychological benefits for the individual. American society and culture would be poorer without the valuable work of volunteers. From the struggling caregiver who refuses to put her husband in a nursing home, to the debutantes who raise money to eradicate disease and suffering, to the retiree who rocks babies in the premie nursery—Arkansas can’t do without you. n To honor and facilitate volunteering, MATURE ARKANSAS will feature each week, a different category of volunteer opportunities available locally. We encourage you to join in the fun and volunteer. n This week we feature volunteer spots at local hospitals. In future issues we will feature schools, charities, housing and others. n If you need volunteers, please let us help you find them: contact me by email annewasson@arktimes or by mail: Mature Arkansas, 201 E. Markham Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201

Volunteer Opportunities St. Vincent Health Systems 2 St. Vincent Circle, Little Rock, phone 552-3551 and St. Vincent Medical Center – North, 2215 Wildwood Ave., North Little Rock, 552-7121 • Gift Shop and Thrift Shop includes retail sales work • Waiting room help answer phones and assist patients’ family • Patient escorts help patients find appointment locations • Guest relations includes visiting patients to see if they need anything to make their hospital stay easier • Visiting Nurses Association need support staff to do clerical work to help nurses get ready to make home visits

UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute 4301 W. Markham St. Little Rock, AR, phone 686-6000. To volunteer, contact Halley Beard at 501-686-8286 or • Patient ambassadors are volunteers who greet patients and visitors in the lobby on the first floor of the Cancer Institute and escort them to their clinics. • Most Vital Pal (MVP) volunteers are paired 20 novemBER 17, 2011 MATURE ARKANSAS

with a new patient on his or her first day and stay with them as they go to appointments, helping ensure the patient has the attention needed. • Patient support advocates must enjoy meeting patients and helping with everything from helping find the perfect wig or hat, working a jigsaw puzzle with caregivers or helping find local information and resources. • Gift Shop volunteers help with all aspects of customer service, including helping patients and caregivers enjoy some retail therapy.

Spotlight on Volunteering By Erin Gray


f you like to cuddle newborn babies, the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at UAMS has a spot for you. This summer, UAMS’NICU and Volunteer Services Department implemented a new volunteer TLC Team that lets volunteers cuddle and rock newborn infants. The program is the brainchild of Mary Francis Dooley, an RN working in the NICU. Dooley believes volunteers can make a real impact on the lives of these tiny patients. “Cuddling, rocking, singing and touching can really help the development of these babies, and many of them don’t get enough human contact because their parents live several hours away,” Dooley says. “UAMS serves as the high-risk delivery center for the entire state and some babies stay for several months.” “Having volunteers who can come in and give the babies a little extra care makes it easier for everyone,” she says.“Studies have shown that babies who receive this type of interaction rest better, have a more stable respiratory status and heart rate, and better overall development. This often means they can go home to their families sooner.” The program requires three hours of training and a commitment of six hours a month to ensure continuity of care.

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) 4301 W. Markham, Little Rock. To become a UAMS Volunteer, contact Jennifer Huie at 501-686-5657 or or go to • Family Resource Center volunteers offer patients and their family information about the hospital and its services, as well as assist with services provided by the Family Resource Center such as making copies or sending a fax.

• NICU TLC Team is a special group of volunteers who provide a loving touch to our littlest patients by rocking them, reading to them, etc. • Greeter volunteers are stationed at busy crosssections throughout the hospital. They offer a friendly welcome and information. • Senior Net volunteers provide computer training, sharpen computer skills, and teach seniors over 50 how to use the Internet and World Wide Web. • Helping Hand volunteers provide comfort and support to families while in the surgery and intensive care unit waiting areas as well as serve as a liaison for patient care staff.

Mature Arkansas  
Mature Arkansas  

Mature Arkansas 11-17-11