Dignity’s Volunteen program winding up 12th year - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Dignity’s Volunteen program winding up 12th year

July 20th, 2018 SanTan Sun News
Dignity’s Volunteen program winding up 12th year

By santan sun news staff

Dignity Health Chandler Regional Medical Center and Mercy Gilbert Medical Center held their Summer Volunteen program for the 12th straight year.

Since 2006, the volunteer services program has included more than 1,360 teens wanting to learn more about hospitals and health care.

Each year, the two hospitals offer the program to high school students ages 14 to 18 who must undergo a rigorous screening and interview process that includes writing two essays, providing two letters of recommendation, and maintaining at least a 3.5 GPA.

“Our qualifications for the program were very competitive,” said Valerie Heninger, supervisor of volunteer services at Mercy Gilbert. “This year, out of the 347 teens who applied, only 92 new students were chosen. This summer, including our 98 returning Volunteens, we have a total of 200 students supporting our hospitals.”

The Volunteen program offers an in-depth learning and leadership opportunity for teens interested in the health care industry. “Many teens find the experience invaluable and enjoy making a positive impact on patients, staff, and visitors,” a spokeswoman said.

“We are dedicated to offering opportunities for these future leaders to serve,” said Lori Mercer, supervisor of Volunteer Services at Chandler Regional. “We want to encourage them to learn about the variety of careers available in the medical field.”

The program is winding up next week for the 200 teens who gained hands-on experience in the medical field and spent at least one day a week at the hospital. They also had the opportunity to work on research and creative projects, escort patients, perform administrative duties, work alongside staff who mentor them, and more.

The program is level-based, so the teens with more experience have first pick for available job areas in almost 100 departments.

Students also have access to educational sessions throughout the summer such as discussions lead by neurologists from Dignity Health’s Barrow Neurological Institute, hospital ethics, pathology, anesthesia, orthopedics, respiratory therapy, trauma one, and tours through the labs, pharmacies, and Chandler Regional’s Wound Healing Center.

They will receive a certificate, letter of recommendation, and automatic acceptance to the 2019 program.