June, 2024
June 2024
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute – patients interactions with Dana-Farber volunteers
May 20, 2024, 03:52

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute – patients interactions with Dana-Farber volunteers

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute shared a post on LinkedIn:

“Ask patients and loved ones about their interactions with Dana-Farber volunteers, and the answers span every touchpoint throughout a cancer experience.

Those arriving for their first appointment are welcomed with a friendly smile by Dana-Farber Ambassadors. The blue-vested volunteers are ready to answer questions, allay concerns, and walk them to their destination. In waiting areas, Resource Cart volunteers distribute magazines, newspapers, and warm conversation. During infusions, Hands-On Care volunteers offer free hand massages. And behind the scenes, members of the Adult and Pediatric Patient Family Advisory Councils – composed entirely of individuals who have had personal care experiences with cancer at Dana-Farber – serve as advocates and provide input for new patient programs, initiatives, and physical spaces.

‘I believe there’s nothing more soothing and powerful than kindness when fear is at its peak,’ says Patricia Stahl, MEd, director of Volunteer Services and Patient Programs. ‘When people are dealing with a cancer diagnosis, our volunteers share that kindness and create an environment that makes Dana-Farber what it is.’

Last year, 325 volunteers contributed more than 15,000 in-person or virtual hours to Dana-Farber. During National Volunteer Appreciation Week (April 21-27), Stahl and her colleagues ensured these individuals understood the significance of their contributions. At a table outside the Lavine Family Dining Pavilion at Dana-Farber’s Longwood campus, and through cards sent to regional campuses, patients, employees, and visitors wrote notes of thanks to volunteers. These were delivered to them, along with other small tokens of gratitude.

‘Patients and families benefit from every interaction they have with our volunteers,’ shares Maritza Nassif, MEd, manager of Volunteer Services and Patient Programs. ‘They become familiar faces they can count on, whether they are celebrating their last infusion or had a tough drive in to Dana-Farber that morning. Our volunteers are an incredible group of people who choose to spend their time with us.’

The recipients of this praise insist that the benefits flow both ways. Volunteer Aarush Patnala devotes his three-hour shifts as a Dana-Farber Ambassador to ‘making everybody’s day a little better.’

”Volunteering here has encouraged me to be more caring and empathetic,” reflects Patnala. ”I’ve found myself getting stronger in my feeling of self-satisfaction. I truly believe I’m making a difference by adding to the positive and supportive vibe that every staff member promotes.”

According to Volunteer Services staff, the success of these interactions lies in their authenticity and consistency.

‘Volunteers are integral to the patient and family experience, and they’re a warm touch during a difficult time,’ expresses Jessica Gagnon, LCSW, MSW, LCSW, program manager of Volunteer Services on the Longwood campus. ‘The many little things they do make the biggest difference in the world.'”

Source: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/LinkedIn