Monthly Archives: April 2012

Family Thank-You Letter to Children’s Volunteers

April 5, 2012

To Whom It May Concern:

Our daughter, Moriah, is 10 years old. She has been in the Children’s Pediatric Epilepsy Unit in St. Paul, MN for several weeks.

I would like to commend and thank all of the volunteers who have come to our floor and have spent time with Moriah. It has made her days here go so much faster!

Each volunteer approached us with a smile and an eagerness to help us in any

Volunteer Ali McFarland with Moriah and Pat (Moriah's mom)

way we requested. They helped me (Mom) the most by assisting Moriah with homework. Homework with Mom is “old” and “boring.” When the volunteers complete homework assignments with her, she is engaged and eager to please them. Each volunteer has been very patient with her, and has helped her stay on task with her deadlines.

The most valuable asset each volunteer has given Moriah is their time with her. Every time a volunteer approached, it brought a smile from her. They brought her crafts to work on, got her hooked on BINGO!, played games with her, played cards, played Wii, and basically did anything that Moriah asked of them.

Each volunteer spoke with her honestly and intellectually. They brought true friendship and encouragement to our daughter. And, again, they took time from their lives each day to spend time with our daughter. THAT is priceless to us!

We would like to express our sincere and heartfelt gratitude to the coordinating staff, the volunteers, and Children’s Hospital for their dedication to this highly valuable program.

Thank you all!

-Pat and Dean Everson

Volunteer Spotlight: Surgery Department

How do volunteers support this department?

Volunteers assist patients and families in the surgery area in many different ways!  Here are just a few examples:

-Escorting patients and families on the day of surgery, especially while accompanying parents from the Operating Room to their waiting area as their child undergoes surgery.

-Covering the desk in the Surgery Family Waiting Room

-Supporting the Pre-Surgery Program, which prepares children and families for upcoming scheduled surgeries through fun medical play, a puppet show (St. Paul campus only), and tour of the surgery department.

Quick Statistics

- The Perioperative Escort volunteer program is growing! In 2010, volunteers in Minneapolis completed 299 service hours as perioperative escort volunteers. In 2011, a similar program was created in St. Paul, and volunteers from both campuses volunteered for a total of 1,563 hours!

– In 2011, volunteers in the Surgery Family Waiting Room at Children’s-Minneapolis interacted with 5,652 inpatient family members; volunteers in the Surgery Family Waiting Room at Children’s-Minnetonka interacted with 6,324 family members.

– Pre-Surgery Program- Across all campuses (St. Paul, Minneapolis and Minnetonka), this program reached a total of 641 families as they prepared for their child to undergo surgery.

Allison Bradee volunteering as a Perioperative Escort

Quotes from Volunteers

“My favorite part of volunteering in the perioperative area, hands down, has to be the amazing staff! I’ve met some of the nicest people through my experiences at Children’s! They are inspirational, and I love to watch them interact with all of the children. My second-favorite has to be the amazing kids that I’m fortunate enough to be able to interact with every Friday morning! I have had nothing but good experiences during my time thus far at Children’s Hospital!”

-Phil Thomas (perioperative volunteer, April 2011-February 2012)

“I enjoy watching the interactions between the staff and children-particularly the efforts made to make sure that the children are comfortable and happy!”

-Tom Klink (perioperative volunteer, September 2011-present)

I really enjoy volunteering at Children’s. Everyone in the surgery unit is nice, friendly, and helpful. My favorite part of volunteering is interacting with the families and trying to make them feel more comfortable during their visit.”

-Jazmine Olson (perioperative volunteer, February 2012-present)

Staff Quotes

“I can’t thank the volunteer team enough for all they do for our families and our staff in surgery.  We miss them terribly when they aren’t able to be here.  It’s one of the things we cover in morning report–“Who is our volunteer today?”–so that we all know who it will be.  I heard [a volunteer] so kindly say to a parent as they left the operating room, “Follow me; we’ll go back to your room now.”  This is such an emotional time for parents.  Often when I’ve escorted parents out, they turn around and around because they really don’t know where to go and are teary.  It was so nice to hear a volunteer providing those kind directions in such a caring voice.  Many thanks!”

-Sue Bauer, Surgery

Thank you, surgery volunteers, for the awesome energy, compassion and dedication that you bring to this volunteer role!

Children’s Hospital Leadership & Volunteer Services Staff Recognize Volunteers!

Children’s Hospital Leadership on Volunteerism

Allan Goldbloom2

“Each volunteer at Children’s brings a unique and personal commitment to helping us fulfill our mission to children and  families. As a group, our volunteers have always been part of the “heart” of Children’s, and we are deeply grateful to them for their time, their energy, and their passion.”
Alan Goldbloom, MD, President and CEO

Dave Brumbaugh

“There is no “I” in team, but there is a “U” in volunteer!
Thank “U” for being a member of Children’s care team!”
Dave Brumbaugh, Vice President of Human Resources

Roxanne Fernandez

“How very fortunate we are to have people who have found how to serve, and then chosen the children and families at Children’s.  Whether they are sharing a book or a meal, providing a hand or a strong shoulder, their gifts come from the heart, and also from a very good soul.  We are all better off because we know them.”
Roxanne Fernandes, Chief Nursing Officer

Children’s Hospital Volunteer Services Staff


“Volunteers give of their time, caring hearts and expertise to make a difference at Children’s.  Your guidance, willingness to listen, support, appreciation, passion and high standards of family-centered care are what brings the volunteer program to life, offering a partnership in the care of our pediatric patients and families.

Thank you for creating a caring environment that enriches each volunteer and allows them to share in Children’s mission.”

Sandy Bergeron, Director of Volunteer Services

Lisa MunsonWhenever I am chatting it up with my friends, family or just people I meet, and they ask me where I work, my response is always something like, “I work with the greatest group of people ever: the volunteers at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota!” Our volunteers come from so many varied, interesting and different walks of life, and each brings caring, compassion and comfort to the patients and families that we serve. Thank you!  And please know that I am in awe of each and every one of you. You make me smile every day. :)”

Lisa Munson, Volunteer Coordinator


“Our volunteers are some of the most fun & fabulous people around! It’s truly inspiring to work with individuals who are motivated by genuine spirits of kindness and compassion. Their energy and enthusiasm consistently brightens my days, and I’m so grateful for all that they do to make Children’s a happier place for patients & families!”

Jenna Barke, Volunteer Coordinator


“Volunteers at Children’s Hospital are incredible! I love supporting volunteers in a setting where I can be confident that volunteers make a huge difference, and have a rewarding experience at the same time. It’s awesome to work in an office where volunteers are constantly coming in with great stories, plans for their careers, updates about their lives, and smiles on their faces.”

Kristi Kehrwald, Volunteer Coordinator


“We have an incredibly strong volunteer department due to the dedicated, creative, and kindhearted volunteers on our roster! Our volunteers make an impact every time they walk through Children’s doors, greeting patients, staff and families with a smile, and brightening the day of every child they spend time with. Whether volunteers are delivering books, scanning materials, making deliveries, or rocking babies, we appreciate all that they do, and I am honored to have them on our team!”

Ingrid Arnold, Volunteer Coordinator

Volunteer Spotlight: Inpatient Units

What do volunteers do on the inpatient units?

Spend time with children, mostly one-on-one:  patients and their siblings LOVE to PLAY! Inpatient volunteers assist with arts & crafts projects, bring children to our inpatient playrooms, play games,  read books, watch movies, rock babies, or simply chat and keep children company in their rooms.

Volunteer Mary Ellen Kruger in the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

Our Inpatient Unit Volunteers Make a HUGE Difference at Children’s!

In 2011, Children’s volunteers:

-volunteered  25,366 total hours on our inpatient units

-Completed approximately 45 volunteer shifts each weekday and 12 shifts a day each weekend for a grand total of 12,490 three-hour inpatient shifts in 2011!

-Volunteers spend time with an average of 2-3 patients during each volunteer shift, which means that, in 2011, they interacted with approximately 31,225 Children’s patients!

We want volunteering to be a meaningful experience for volunteers, as well as those we serve. Why do volunteers share their time at Children’s Hospital?

“I volunteer because I love working with kids. This is a chance for me to do what I love while gaining insight into the healthcare industry!”

Nickie Fowler, inpatient volunteer

“Volunteering at Children’s has been one of the most amazing and rewarding experiences of my life!”

Lea Dinndorf, inpatient volunteer

“I receive so much joy and contentment from volunteering at Children’s…it’s the highlight of my week!”

Roxanne Lerum, Infant Care Center volunteer

Volunteer Kyle Anderson playing with patient

Volunteers mean so much to the patients, families and staff here at Children’s Hospital!

“All of the volunteers were great!”

Family Survey

“The volunteer staff was wonderful, so caring and fun. I want to thank ALL of them.”

Family Survey

“You volunteers all make such a difference here for these children.  I am so very grateful every day for all that you do.”

Kate Beaudin, RN, PICU (Children’s-Minneapolis)

“A mom stopped in the Family Resource Center today and mentioned that the two things that really make her son’s day at Children’s are…X-Box and VOLUNTEERS!”

Carolyn Reseland, Family Resource Center

Happy National Volunteer Week to all of our inpatient unit volunteers! Thank you for making a huge positive impact on the lives of Children’s patients, families, and staff!

St. Baldrick’s Event: Volunteer Ed Kraft Shaves His Head For Pediatric Cancer Research!

Ed Kraft, halfway through the "head-shaving" process!

Ed (far left) with the other members of his St. Baldrick's team

We know that our volunteers are incredibly committed, but last Thursday, March 29th, Children’s volunteer Ed Kraft took his commitment to Children’s (and pediatric cancer research) to a new level by having his head shaved during a St. Baldrick’s event held on the Children’s-Minneapolis campus.

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a childhood cancer charity funding the most promising research to help find cures for kids with cancer.  St. Baldrick’s came to Children’s last week, and 29 current or past employees from our hospital had their heads shaved!

Why did Ed choose to participate in this event?  In his own words, “Dr. [Bruce] Bostrom asked me if I wanted to be on his St. Baldrick’s team.  I said, ‘Why not?'”  On a personal level, Ed’s head was shaved in memory of his daughter, Anne Elizabeth Kraft, who was treated at Children’s-Minneapolis and passed away from leukemia in 2005.  Ed also worked as an RN on the (old) eighth floor for 24 years before retiring in 2008. He currently volunteers on Thursday afternoons in the hematology-oncology clinic with Vicki Neis, clinic child life specialist:  his daughter Anne dreamed of being a child life specialist, as well.

Huge thanks to Ed for his commitment to Children’s!  We would also thank the following volunteers for assisting with this event:  Vinita Dalgleish, Jessica Guazhima, Annika Johanson, Ally Labine, London Nelson, Vince Opheim (in Twinkle costume), and Josh Purple!

Vinita Dalgleish, Twinkle (AKA Vince Opheim!), & Ally Labine

Pediatric Grand Rounds: April

Grand rounds: Meetings at which physicians discuss the clinical case of one or more patients. Grand rounds originated as part of residency training, wherein new information was taught and clinical reasoning skills were enhanced. Grand rounds today are an integral component of medical education. They present clinical problems in medicine by focusing on current or interesting cases (

Pediatric Grand Rounds at Children’s are open to all interested volunteers!  Grand Rounds are held each Thursday from 8-9 am at the following locations:

Minneapolis Campus:

2525 Chicago Avenue, Minneapolis:  video conference shown in Medical Education Room B-870

St. Paul Campus:

255 N. Smith Avenue, St. Paul:  live presentation in the John Nasseff Conference Center

April 2012 Sessions:

4/5: “Clinicopathologic Conference: The Kindest Cut”

Presented by Brian Yablon, MD, Pediatric Chief Resident, Department of Pediatrics, U of M

4/12: “Autism Spectrum Disorders: Diagnostic Changes in DSM-5”

Presented by Michael Troy, Ph.D, L.P., Child Psychologist, Children’s Hospitals & Clinics of Minnesota

4/19:  “Morbidity & Mortality Conference″

Presented by Gigi Chawla, MD, Pediatrician, St. Paul Children’s Clinic, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota

4/26: “Ethics Conference-An Atypical Suicide: Clinical Trials as Pharmaceutical Marketing Tools”

Presented by Carl Elliott, MD, Ph.D, Professor, Center for Bioethics, Professor, Dept. of Pediatrics, U of M Medical School, Professor, Dept. of Philosophy, College of Liberal Arts