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Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center

 

Wilkes-Barre VA Volunteers

A photo of a woman and a man in a wheelchair in an outdoor location

VAMC Wilkes-Barreā€™s James H. Park Youth Memorial Scholarship 2016 Nominee, Adrianna Roberts with Veteran Michael Michalik

By Melanie L. Thomas
Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The VA Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, depends on the generosity of our community partners and volunteers who wish to give back to America's Veterans.  Our volunteers are an integral part of essential day-to-day operations and provide many important functions throughout the Medical Center.  They come from all areas of the community and represent a wide variety of professions, physical abilities, age groups, and ethnic and cultural backgrounds. 

Every hour of a volunteer’s service to a hospitalized Veteran is deeply appreciated.  Adult volunteers (minimum of 18 years old) are considered for volunteer placement after an interview with Voluntary Service, fingerprints have been taken and screened, orientation has been completed, and a Tuberculosis Test has been administered.  Upon completion of the onboarding process, volunteers will meet with their service’s supervisor and sign a position description accepting them into that service.  

Our Student Volunteers are an invaluable asset to our facility as well.  Student volunteers (ages 14 to 17) gain valuable work experience through assisting staff and Veterans during a 6 week Summer Youth Program.  The Summer Youth Program offers students the opportunity to gain community service credit towards graduation, learn new skills, acquire experience in a health care environment, and make new friends.  After completion of 100 hours of volunteer service, a student volunteer will be considered for nomination of the James H. Parke Youth Memorial Scholarship Award.

a photo of 4 people standing near a counter with coffee mugs, a tray of pastries, and a basket of condiments

From left to right: William Pickering; Robert Smith; Maryellen Heisner; and William Crawford.

Recruitment for service specific volunteer opportunities varies depending upon the needs of the Medical Center.  However, there is an ongoing need for volunteer drivers, Community Living Center volunteers, Recreation Therapy volunteers, and Information Desk Ambassadors.

Volunteering is a personal decision and the days and hours a volunteer provides are at the discretion of the volunteer.  While some volunteer opportunities have specific timeframes, most are flexible and conform to the availability of the person. 

As a member of our volunteer team, volunteers receive many benefits. Some of these benefits include unit and area specific training upon placement, a meal ticket (after 4 hours of service), a Tuberculosis Test, free annual Flu Shots (for adults and youth volunteers with parental consent), eligibility for scholarships offered by service organizations, volunteer recognition, immediate gratification, and improved health and well-being.  Additionally, service awards are presented each year at a formal volunteer banquet held to honor the impact our active volunteers make in the lives of America’s heroes.  

For more information please contact Voluntary Service at 570-821-7237 or send an e-mail to Debra Schlosser, Chief, Voluntary Service.

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