Each year, Volunteer Services recognizes one person who has gone above and beyond the normal responsibilities of a volunteer. At this year’s annual volunteer celebration, the 2013 Volunteer Outstanding Achievement Award went to Len Schultz.
Schultz came to HUP in 2009 but knew he wanted to volunteer here five years earlier, when he was still working fulltime as an engineer. Accompanying his wife to HUP on her “medical sojourns” over the years, he had noticed “an amazing combination of science and humanity. She was treated like a queen when she was here. Now I know that everyone is.”
His initial volunteer post was as a greeter/transporter at the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine but he wanted to be more a part of the clinical side. His move to the Emergency Room in 2010 turned out to be a perfect fit for both him and the staff. “When Len first came to volunteer in the ER, I thought he’d last two days,” said Jim Pisaturo of Emergency Medicine, kiddingly. “Now we think, ‘Thank God he joined our team!’”
Schultz’s responsibilities have grown beyond those of a typical ER volunteer,such as taking patients for tests and bringing blood samples to the lab. He simplified and then rewrote the orientation for ER volunteers and was soon handling the orientation himself. “Len’s training of ER volunteers is the best I have,” said Donna Griffith, director of Volunteer Services.
He also joined HUP’s Patient and Family Advisory Council, working on many of its initiatives. One was a task force examining the problem of lost patient belongings. He worked with the ER staff to determine how patient possessions were handled and then made a flow chart of the process (“which is what engineers do!”) to determine what needed to be changed. “So far in FY14, we’ve had only one report of lost items in the ER,” he said, stressing that “hard work by many people solved the problem.”
In receiving his award, Schultz said, “I didn’t expect the great working relationships [in the ER] but I’ve enjoyed my time there because of the staff and the institution. I’m proud to be a volunteer at HUP.”
The event recognizing Schultz was bittersweet. Griffith announced her retirement. “My time with you has been incredible. You have all helped me grow.” She has since retired.
When Griffith came to HUP in 2002, the hospital had 25 volunteers. This past year, nearly 1,000 people between the ages of 14 and 80 volunteered their time at HUP in a variety of programs (see sidebar below). “We provided 62,500 service hours this year, the equivalent of 30 FTEs,” she said. “It makes me so proud to talk about our many programs.”
“Other volunteer directors come here to see Donna’s programs. Both the pre-med and teen volunteer programs get many more applications than openings,” said Mia Gonzales, assistant executive director, Support Services. “Donna is innovative and a visionary. That’s the legacy she leaves.”
Photo caption: Congratulating Len Schultz (c.) on receiving the 2013 Volunteer Outstanding Achievement Award for his work in the ED are (l. to r.) Heather Matthew, Phil Gaspari, Jennifer Barger, Donna Griffith, Jimmy Pisaturo, and Thea Burke.
Partnering with many departments throughout the hospital, Donna Griffith helped to create several volunteer programs during her 11 years at HUP, including:
- Pre-med Volunteer Program
- Nursing and Allied Health Volunteer Program
- Musicians on Call
- Animal Assisted Therapy (HUP’s Pups)
- Patient and Family Advisors Committee