Back in her teen years, Chris Dechoretz served as a volunteer candy striper at Sutter Memorial Hospital in Sacramento, a job she “enjoyed very much.” Perhaps that’s why, after retiring from her UC Davis job in 2006, she immediately thought of volunteering at Sutter Davis Hospital.
“I wanted to do something that would provide meaning for both me and the organization, get me out of house and put me in contact with others,” she explained. “And I get the most pleasure from the camaraderie between volunteers and staff. It’s a very inclusive environment.”
Today, Dechoretz is co-president of the hospital’s auxiliary, and eager to find others like herself willing to invest their time in serving Sutter Davis Hospital’s patients and staff.
“We always need more volunteers,” she said. “They are such a key part in making the hospital run smoothly. Last year alone, volunteers put in almost 20,000 hours, which translates to a value added to the hospital of $478,739, according to IndependentSector.org.”
Sutter Davis Hospital volunteers typically work at the hospital’s information desk, gift shop, emergency department, surgery center or patient services department. Tasks might include answering questions, assisting patients and family members, operating the hospital gift shop and delivering lunches, flowers, magazines and books. Volunteers also can be matched with other areas, depending on their skills and interests.
To become a Sutter Davis Hospital volunteer, individuals must first request an application form by emailing SDHA@sutterhealth.org or calling the information desk at 530-759-7485.
All applicants must pass a background check and medical clearance, with those costs covered by the hospital. Then, an auxiliary member meets with each applicant to discuss the program and determine which volunteer opportunity best fits that person’s interests.
Volunteers must pay the $15 auxiliary membership dues and agree to work at least eight hours per month. Volunteer shifts are scheduled based on the availability of the individual and the needs of the hospital.
For more information about becoming a hospital volunteer, visit the Sutter Davis Hospital Auxiliary site at www.sutterdavis.org/about/auxiliary.html.