Volunteer Services

Established in 1933, Yale-New Haven Hospital has one of the oldest organized hospital volunteer programs in the country. The hospital's 1,500 volunteers contribute more than 122,000 hours of service annually.


We need and welcome energetic volunteers of all ages and skills. 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

Summer High School Program 2013

Yale-New Haven Hospital is one of the top hospitals in the United States and is proud to have one of the most established volunteer programs. The popularity of the summer youth volunteer program cannot be overstated. Students interested in learning more about the healthcare field, giving back to their community and exploring possible career paths should apply for the 2013 Summer Youth Volunteer Program. Students must be 15 years of age and able to commit to attending the entire seven-week session which will start July 1 and end on August 16.

If you are interested in participating in our program this summer, we encourage you to apply now. Assignments will be made on a first come, first served basis, at the completion of all the requirements. If you are interested in applying for the Summer 2013 Youth Volunteer Program, you must complete the application, including the one page reflection and attend an orientation class. Please print the Summer 2013 Application Packet and register for one of the following orientation dates below.

To register for an orientation class, click the link next to your preferred session, or call the customer service center at 1.888.700.6543.  PLEASE NOTE: Once you have registered, if you need to change your orientation date you will need to contact the customer service center.

Saturday, April 6 8:30 a.m. - noon York Street Campus Register
Thursday, April 11 4 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Chapel Street Campus Register
Tuesday, May 7 4 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. York Street Campus Register

Youth Volunteer Program

Currently our academic youth volunteer program is closed. 

College Program

Yale-New Haven Hospital has a long history of collaboration with area colleges and universities. College students may participate in a variety of assignments and volunteer throughout the academic year. Students considering a career in health care will find volunteer experience to be helpful in solidifying career choices.

During the months of May-August, college students may participate in a special summer program requiring 50 hours over the course of 9 weeks in a variety of volunteer positions.

To receive information, please either fill out our Volunteer Information Request Form or contact Volunteer Services at 203.688.2297.

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 either fill out our Volunteer Information Request Form or contact Volunteer Services at 203.688.2297.

Current Positions

Guest Relations

  • Ambassadors greet, escort or transport patients and visitors (by wheelchair) throughout the hospital.
  • Atrium Gift Shop assistants help customers with purchases and keep the inventory up-to-date.
  • Family Liaison Services provides information and support to families in the surgical family lounge.
  • Information Desks welcome visitors, assist with directions and provide general information about the hospital to guests.

To receive information, please contact Volunteer Services at 203.688.2297.

Patient Support

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

  • Book Cart volunteers visit patients with a cart of reading materials.
  • 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.
  • Reiki volunteers are certified Reiki practitioners who provide this gentle, hands-on energy healing technique to patients.

To receive information, please contact Volunteer Services at 203.688.2297.

Other Information

Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven

Many volunteers are needed in Smilow Cancer Hospital. Ambassadors are needed to escort patients to various areas of the hospital. Accomplished pianists are sought to provide music in the hospital lobby, on the beautiful grand piano. Volunteers are needed in the Boutique to assist patients with selecting accessories. Navigators are needed in the outpatient treatment center to assist patients and their families on the first day of treatment.

FAMILYREAD® Group is a parent-child literacy program that brings together parents for a 10-week group experience of exploring reading and positive parenting through selected children's books. To learn more about volunteer opportunities with Familyread®, please contact Melissa Rowe, LCSW, at 203.688.5996.

Nurturing Connections is a volunteer 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.

Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital

While medical care is an essential part of any child's treatment, we believe the support our volunteers offer at Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital to our patients and their families are an integral part of their care.

  • Reach Out and Read volunteers read to children in busy outpatient areas, days only.
  • Inpatient Unit volunteers interact with patients and families, providing age-appropriate activities.
  • Pediatric Intensive Care Unit volunteers support patients, families and staff.
  • Pediatric Library volunteers offer pediatric patients a book from the library cart; volunteers retrieve and stock library books as needed.
  • Sib Shop allows volunteers to interact with the brothers and sisters of pediatric patients, playing games and participating in activities.

To receive information, please contact Volunteer Services at 203.688.2297.