Children’s Minnesota’s health care heroes and volunteer helpers made headlines this week on KSTP-TV. Cameras from the TV news station were rolling in the Emergency Department (ED) at Children’s Minnesota’s Minneapolis campus when Dr. Marc Gorelick, president and CEO; Laurin Cathey, vice president and chief human resources officer; and Caroline Njau, chief nursing officer at Children’s Minnesota, volunteered on different days. The organization’s leaders cleaned patient rooms in the ED, and also did other non-clinical tasks to support our health care providers so they can focus on patient care. All of our helpers’ “day jobs” are in many departments within the organization, and they are volunteering to do tasks such as:
- Welcoming patients and families.
- Assisting with wayfinding.
- Scanning and faxing.
“We have a lot of people in this organization, executives and others who have important but non-clinical roles,” said Dr. Gorelick during his interview with KSTP. “And they’ve been asking, ‘What can we do to help?’”
Children’s Minnesota’s volunteer helpers are stepping-up to support clinical staff amongst high patient volumes, nationwide staffing shortages, and our health care providers getting sick with COVID-19.
“You never know what it’s like to spend time in another person’s shoes,” Cathey told KSTP. “Just the resiliency of our staff. The commitment in which they bring to work every day. And I’ve learned that we’ve got a very innovative team. They’re resilient and, once again, that passion comes through. Even when we’re short-staffed, the quality of care doesn’t stop.”
Since putting out the call for volunteers in December 2021, at least 105 helpers have covered 484 shifts – and counting – in our Minneapolis and St. Paul EDs and inpatient units. Volunteers are trained prior to starting their first shift, and also help out at eight of our primary care clinics throughout the Twin Cities metro area.
Watch Dr. Gorelick, Laurin Cathey, Caroline Njau, our amazing volunteers and clinical staff on KSTP-TV: