They provide support to patients and families, offering words of encouragement. They staff gift shops and welcome centers. They volunteer in clinics. And so much more.
Since the day MD Anderson opened its doors in 1941, the volunteer spirit has permeated the hospital’s culture. Volunteer Services formally was organized in 1954 when the hospital relocated to where it stands now. In the time since, the program has grown and diversified, always remaining focused on the patient.
“Last year, our volunteers provided more than 190,000 hours of service, which is equivalent to the work of 93 full-time employees,” says Susan French, executive director of Volunteer Services. “This support makes a substantial difference in the lives of our patients and caregivers.”
For those walking through the doors of MD Anderson, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from, a volunteer will be waiting to help.
Patient services and support
The spirit of giving also is manifested in the broad range of programs supported through Volunteer Services, including:
Volunteer Endowment for Patient Support (VEPS):
Provides funding for patient-oriented programs and special amenities not covered by traditional sources, such as patient education materials, caregiver support programs, and patient conferences and special events.
- In 2013, VEPS had an endowment corpus of $2,838,112.
- $188,364 in VEPS funds were disbursed to 27 institutional programs.
This program offers hope and understanding to cancer patients, survivors and caregivers from those who have been there. Most programs are available to all cancer patients and caregivers, no matter where they receive treatment.
- 124,799 Hospitality Center visitors
- 1,309 patient/caregiver one-on-one support/ matches
- 865 attended PIKNIC (Partners in Knowledge, News in Cancer), an educational forum on the Texas Medical Center campus and at the regional care centers
- 2,028 active patient/caregiver members
The Beauty/Barber Shop:
Located on Floor 6 of the Main Building, the shop offers services such as shampoos, scalp treatments, haircuts, shaves, head coverings and wigs to patients at no charge.
- 6,624 patients served
- 8,069 complimentary hats, scarves and wigs distributed