Staff passing Andrea Crane in the hallway at Riverside Medical Center (RMC) often stop to tell her about one volunteer who is so helpful and cheerful.
“I wasn’t requesting feedback but they would just stop me in the hallway or cafeteria and mention how much they appreciated his willingness to help whatever situation,” said Crane, volunteer coordinator at RMC.
That volunteer is Bill Brown, 74, of Waupaca, who has spent the last year giving his time at the hospital. “I like it there,” said Brown, who became involved as a way to give back to the hospital.
“I was a patient in the outpatient surgery,” added Brown, noting that the friendly nurses and staff made such an impression that “I figured I wanted to be around these nice people some more.”
During a shift at the hospital, Brown does a variety of tasks like greeting people at the door, escorting wheelchair-bound patients and directing people around the hospital. “He has a very nice way with patients and visitors,” said Crane, noting that staff “have mentioned numerous times how much they appreciate the effort that he puts forth.”
He can also be found in outpatient surgery when the department needs an extra set of hands to move patients around or escort family members to their loved ones. “It’s becoming a regular thing,” said Brown.
Crane said the extra help is welcome. “On busy days, that saves a lot of time for the nursing staff,” she said. “Also they might ask him to run errands for them, like take family members to the cafeteria and other various things that happen to come up.”
He is happy to be of service wherever he is needed in the hospital. “I enjoy being part of that team a lot,” said Brown. “I’ve met some interesting people.”
He also willing to fill in an open shift or come in when needed last minute. “It feels good to do it,” he said. “I really think that a lot of people who donate their time or give of themselves do it because it feels good. They’re getting something.”
The hospital is getting something too, said Crane, noting that Brown, and RMC’s many other volunteers, are dedicated to the needs of the patients, the families and helping to support the staff through a variety of volunteer roles.
And having Brown willing to step in for open shifts is beneficial to staff, said Crane. “He just started this year but has so many of the hospital staff feeling confident about calling our volunteers,” she said, noting that the “staff always have someone to help when they call the volunteer desk.”
His dedication has also opened up the door for others to consider volunteering, said Crane. “Other people have noticed the position and I have been able to recruit more volunteers too,” she said. “It’s just a win-win.”
For volunteer opportunities at Riverside Medical Center, contact volunteer coordinator Andrea Crane at 715-258-1065 or e-mail at Andrea.firstname.lastname@example.org.