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Volunteer Services

Established in 1933, Yale-New Haven Hospital has one of the oldest organized hospital volunteer programs in the country. The hospital's 2,400 volunteers contribute more than 200,000 hours of service annually.

Volunteers

The Volunteer Services Department needs and welcomes energetic volunteers of all ages and skills on the York Street and Saint Raphael campuses. Volunteers generally give a minimum of four hours a week for at least six months. There are a variety of volunteer roles to fit individual time schedules, abilities and interests. Volunteers may work directly with patients or choose work behind the scenes.

Volunteer Programs at YNHH

Community Volunteers

Non-student adult volunteers provide stability to the volunteer program throughout the year by assisting in many areas of the hospital. To receive information, please fill out our Volunteer Information Request Form.

College Program

Thank you for your interest in the Summer College Program 2014.  We have had overwhelming interest in our summer program and have reached capacity.  We are currently recruiting for our academic year program.

Summer High School Program 2014

Thank you for your interest in the Summer Youth Program 2014. We have had overwhelming interest in our summer program and we have reached capacity. If you are interested in volunteering during our academic program, please check back in August to receive further information in regards to our Academic Program 2014 – 2015.  

Current Positions

Guest Relations

  • Ambassador volunteers act as greeters and escorts for patients and visitors at the time of arrival. Consistently promoting high quality service by greeting guests in a prompt, caring and courteous manner.
  • Gift Shop volunteers provide customer service assistance including helping customers with purchases and keeping inventory up-to-date.
  • Family Liaison Services provides information and support to families in the surgical family lounge.
  • Information Desk volunteers welcome patients and visitors, assisting with directions and providing general information about the hospital.

Patient Support

Trying to understand and cope with the challenges that arise during a hospital stay can be difficult. Volunteers assist patients and their families by helping to make their experience as comfortable as possible.

  • Elder Horizons volunteers have the opportunity to interact with geriatric patients, days or evenings.
  • Emergency Department volunteers support patients and families in the Emergency Departments, and also assist staff by running errands and helping with a variety of tasks. Volunteers are needed in both the adult and pediatric departments.
  • Heart Center volunteers who have had experience as cardiology patients provide peer-to-peer support to patients facing surgery.
  • Spanish Visitation volunteer meets with admitted adult patients and provide them with information in Spanish to better orient them for their hospital experience as well as answering questions and referring them to appropriate hospital staff.
  • Nurturing Connections volunteers provide a telephone support program for first-time mothers. English- and Spanish-speaking volunteers are encouraged to apply. To learn more about volunteer opportunities with Nurturing Connections, please contact Anita Bonilla, BSW, at (203) 688-8165.

Healing Environment

Volunteers play an important role in enhancing the healing environment for our patients. Whether it's providing a Reiki or meditation session or visiting patients to play music or offer an art project, volunteers are integral members of our healthcare team.

  • Music Visitation volunteers provide a calm and uplifting bedside experience for our patients, their visitors as well as employees. Volunteers must be experienced musicians and furnish their own musical instrument.
  • Pianist volunteers to provide wonderful live music for patients, families, visitors and staff gathered at and around the Smilow lobby for their enjoyment. Volunteers must have proven mastery of piano playing as determined by an audition.
  • Creative Arts volunteers to provide patients and their families with purposeful and interesting activities to engage in during a hospital encounter. Help patients and family members deal with long wait times, thereby facilitating relaxation and distraction.
  • Reiki volunteers are certified Reiki practitioners who provide this gentle, hands-on energy healing technique to patients.
  • Book Cart volunteers visit patients with a cart of reading materials.

Additional Opportunities

Smilow Cancer Hospital (York Street Campus) and Smilow Care Centers
Many volunteers are needed in Smilow Cancer Hospital. Ambassadors are needed to meet, greet and escort patients to various areas of the hospital. Accomplished pianists are sought to provide music in the hospital lobby, on the beautiful grand piano. Navigators are needed in the outpatient treatment center to assist patients and their families on the first day of treatment.

Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital
While medical care is an essential part of any child's treatment, we believe that the support volunteers can offer to the patients and families of the Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital is an integral part of their care. Volunteer opportunities range from guest relation roles to patient intensive roles. Regardless of assignment, one can expect to support patients who range in age from newborn to 18. Some examples of current opportunities include:

  • Pediatric Family Resource Center volunteers assist families in accessing information and utilizing the available Center resources.
  • Reach Out and Read volunteers generate an excitement for literacy by reading to children in our busy Primary Care Center (week days only).
  • Inpatient Units volunteers support and engage patients and families; providing age-appropriate activities for patients and siblings, and offering respite to families.
  • Surgical Center volunteers assist staff in supporting the needs of patients and families in the waiting rooms and recovery area of the Surgical Center (week days only).
  • Emergency volunteers support the needs of patients and families both in the waiting areas and treatment areas of the unit.
  • Arts for Healing Program volunteers with developed artistic skills promote healing by engaging patients and families with a variety of creative activities.
  • Sibling Program volunteers interact with the brothers and sisters of pediatric patients, playing games and participating in activities (Typically: 1 Saturday per month).

Volunteer Services

York Street Campus

20 York Street
EP 1-612
New Haven, CT 06510
(203) 688-2297
Fax: (203) 688-4363 

Saint Raphael Campus

1450 Chapel Street
Main 138
New Haven, CT 06511
(203) 789-3480
Fax: (203) 867-5225

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