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ynhh volunteer with piano in hospital lobby

Welcome back, YNHH volunteers! 

After 15 months out of the hospital due to COVID-19 restrictions, a small number of volunteers are returning to their posts at YNHH. 

Tom Ciancia of New Haven is one of them. Ciancia has been playing piano in the Smilow Cancer Hospital lobby since 2014. Throughout the pandemic, he found ways to share his musical talents with grateful patients through pre-recorded videos and live Zoom calls. 

“One day I got a call asking me if I would play for a patient who was in the hospital on her birthday,” Ciancia said. “Her family couldn’t be with her because of the visitor restrictions.” 

He connected with the patient via Zoom and performed a number of birthday tunes for her. The patient passed away a few days later. 

“I’m humbled to be able to provide some solace to our patients, no matter how small,” Ciancia said. 

Patients, visitors and staff have missed volunteers and the many ways they make a difference at YNHH. We’re glad to have them back!