Back in 1961, WakeMed Health & Hospitals (then the Wake County Hospital System Inc.) was established by the community to care for the people of the community. In other words, the community has been the most vital supporter of WakeMed since its beginnings.
A special segment of our community – providing a very special service to WakeMed and the community – came into existence and immediate relevance just five years after the WakeMed Raleigh Campus opened. Back then, they were known as The Auxiliary to the Wake County Hospital System Inc. Today, they are The Volunteers at WakeMed Raleigh Campus.
The Volunteers at WakeMed Raleigh Campus’ counterparts to the West, The Volunteers at Western Wake Medical Center, also got their start soon after Western Wake (now WakeMed Cary Hospital) opened. They began their service to patients, families and staff in 1992 – just one year after Western Wake’s official ribbon-cutting ceremony.
WakeMed Volunteer Services reports that more than 1,500 men and women serve the WakeMed mission as either members of The Volunteers at WakeMed Cary Hospital or The Volunteers at WakeMed Raleigh Campus. In fiscal year 2013, they provided 135,432 hours of service. That is an astounding number.
When you walk through either WakeMed hospital, you will see a volunteer in a red or gray vest escorting patients and families to their destination, providing hearing screenings for babies, helping staff with clerical duties and even bringing their proud pooches in to visit dog-loving patients.
Through their sales (uniform, shoe, jewelry, etc.) programs (Blossoms for Life) and events (the annual Volunteers at WakeMed Cary Hospital Golf Outing), they raise funds to purchase important items like scales for heart failure patients, prescriptions for immediate-need patients, distraction toys, books and music, and infant care items and car seats.
Through their scholarships, the volunteers help staff members achieve higher levels of learning to better their skills. A highly skilled health care team benefits the entire community.
And a large group of volunteers from throughout the community work tirelessly as groups and individuals to produce knitted, sewn and crocheted Huggables (small, stuffed animals for pediatric patients), baby hats and baby blankets. These items are treasured by recipients, who greatly appreciate the stress relief these distractions bring.
While National Health Care Volunteer Week was April 6-12, we invite you, every week, to tell a WakeMed volunteer how much you appreciate all they do for our mission and our community. They are the best!
Here are some of our awesome volunteers in action!