Monthly Archives: January 2011

Volunteer Spotlight: Perioperative Escorts

Volunteer Allison Bradee (pictured) was one of several volunteers to pilot a new volunteer role, Perioperative Escorts, in the new surgery space that opened on the Minneapolis campus in September.  Soon to be coming to the St. Paul campus, the escort role has become an essential function that families, staff, and fellow volunteers rely on.  Duties are focused on making families’ surgery experiences as positive and stress-free as possible.  These duties include:  escorting families to and from the operating rooms, accompanying families to their cars, offering refreshments, sanitizing toys, helping with pre-operative room setup, and assisting with administrative tasks.  In this unique role, volunteers wear scrubs and identify themselves by wearing RED surgery caps!

 Allison begins her Tuesday morning at Children’s at 7:15 am (a time when many of us are just waking up and getting ready for the day).  She tells us that she loves the role and could not imagine being in another role or another place.  Allison has been with us since August 2009, when she started volunteering with the Pre-Surgery Program.  We are fortunate to have her here until the fall…when she’s off to medical school! 

There are currently a small number of early-morning to early-afternoon escort shifts available.  If you’re pre-med, pre-nursing, like to stay busy, or simply like the look & feel of scrubs, please contact the Minneapolis Volunteer Services office for more details at (612) 813-6200.

Sharing Warmth: Blanket Donations!

Today, Project Linus “blanketed” Children’s Hospital with handmade blankets to bring comfort and joy to the patients on the inpatient floors in St. Paul. As one nurse states, “Blankets make the children feel welcome on the unit and put smiles on their faces!”  In fact, many children bring these donated blankets back to the hospital with them on their return visits. We are so thankful for the many volunteers who hand-make blankets for our patients. You truly are “Children’s Stars!”
(Pictured:  Volunteer Laura Duffy, sorting through our MANY generously-donated blankets!)

Guest Blogger: Volunteer/Medical Student Michael Joannides

Editor’s Note:  Mike volunteered at Children’s from December 2008-December 2010, accumulating over 300 total hours of service.  While we were very sad to see him go, we are excited to feature him here as he highlights his new adventures as a medical student abroad!

 Interested in studying medicine in Europe?  I was, and so were at least 120 other students in my medical school class who are currently involved in the Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program in Newcastle, UK. 

My name is Michael Joannides.  I am from Eden Prairie, MN and began volunteering at the Minneapolis Children’s Hospital in December 2008.   As mentioned above, I am currently studying medicine through St. George’s University (SGU).  The main campus of the school is located in Grenada, approximately 100 miles north of Venezuela in the Caribbean.  However, the MD program offers two routes to achieving a medical degree:  (1) spending your first 2 years studying the Basic Sciences on the island of Grenada, followed by 2 years of Clinical Rotations in the United States (with affiliated hospitals in either New York, Florida, Michigan, or California), or (2) choosing the Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program.  The latter program allows you to study your first year of Basic Sciences at Northumbria University in Newcastle, UK, followed by a second year of Basic Sciences on the main campus in Grenada, then Clinical Rotations in either the United States or United Kingdom.  Both SGU MD programs are adamant about operating on the same curriculum; therefore, lectures, study material, and exams are the same for either route taken through SGU.

I decided on the Global Scholars Program since the opportunity to experience three types of healthcare systems, along with the easy access to travel throughout Europe, would allow a tremendous experience towards learning medicine.  When I complete my four years of medical school at St. George’s University, I will have observed the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK along with a developing nation’s health care system in Grenada, and the current United States healthcare system.   I look forward to broadening my medical education with cross-cultural medical practices.  Of course, I am also extremely excited to see some sites in Europe.

If you are further interested in this medical program, here is the website:

Happy MLK Day!

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?'” -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

A huge THANK YOU to the following volunteers who helped serve cake on both campuses to celebrate Martin Luther King Day today:  Selina Betcher, Diane Kastner, Tammy Krautkremer,  Ty Lyndgaard, Cheryl Naddy, Brian Nagan, Pamela Neal, and Vicki Svanoe! 

PAWH Website Live!


Children’s Volunteer Services has developed a dedicated PAWH Programs web page for those who want to learn more about what volunteers and their furry friends do at Children’s.  This page outlines information about (and requirements for) becoming a PAWH volunteer at Children’s, and also features our newly-produced PAWH Program video!

Children’s Hospital has utilized therapy dogs since 2004.  The program started with one volunteer and his fluffy white dog.  Since the culmination of the program, we have expanded into a system-wide service.  Volunteers and their dogs visit multiple units on both main hospital campuses and work with rehab clinics at all 6 sites (Woodbury, Maple Grove, Minnetonka, Roseville, St. Paul, and Minneapolis).  Our volunteer pool has also increased to over 20 dog/handler teams.

For more information on registered therapy animals, visit the Delta Society’s Pet Partners Program.

Welcome to the Red Vest Review

Breaking news!!!
Children’s Volunteer Services has decided to utilize a blog to keep volunteers informed of current department happenings in lieu of our Volunteer Services newsletter (the Volunteer Star).  We welcome your comments and feedback as we launch this new venture, and we look forward to communicating volunteer news with you online (in “real time!”) in 2011!