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News / Health / Clark County Health

PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center seeks volunteers after COVID pause

Applicants can learn more at Vancouver open house

By Nika Bartoo-Smith, Columbian staff reporter
Published: February 28, 2023, 6:07am

Volunteers are a huge piece of what makes PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center run. Yet for the past three years, the medical center has had to limit volunteers due to COVID-19 restrictions.

As the world continues to readjust to post-pandemic life, PeaceHealth Southwest is relaunching its volunteer program.

“We’re really happy to bring our volunteers back and to see that the excitement is still there,” said Kristy Murray, operational supervisor for guest and volunteer services at PeaceHealth Southwest.

While the medical center brought back some volunteers a while ago, mainly longtime volunteers, the hospital is now calling on the community in the hopes of boosting volunteer numbers to pre-pandemic levels. In the past, PeaceHealth Southwest has had around 325 hospital volunteers, according to Murray.

Volunteers at PeaceHealth Southwest have the opportunity to help serve the community in a variety of ways — greeting people at the entrance; helping  patients and visitors find their way through the hospital, especially with the ongoing construction; work in the gift shop; and help ready rooms in the emergency department, among other things.

“We try to pair interest with availability and of course what the hospital needs,” Murray said.

Eligible volunteers must be at least 14 years old and in high school; fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and up-to-date with the flu vaccine; and able to pass a background check, according to a press release.

“And above and beyond everything else, there needs to be a sincere want to serve their community,” Murray said. “To me, anybody that wants to volunteer has something to offer.”

Volunteers are typically asked to commit to at least 50 hours, usually volunteering for a four-hour shift once a week, according to Murray.

PeaceHealth Southwest will be holding open-house events for those interested in volunteering. Open house dates include: 2 to 3 p.m. March 2; 10 to 11 a.m. March 18; 5 to 6 p.m. March 23; and 11 a.m. to noon April 1. The events will be held at the Health Education Center at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center and guests are asked to enter at the Northeast 92nd Avenue entrance.

PeaceHealth Southwest asks those interested in volunteering and attending an open house to bring immunization records and a completed application, found at peacehealth.org/hospitals/southwest-medical-center/volunteer. Email questions to PHSW-VolunteerServices@peacehealth.org.

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Columbian staff reporter