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At any one time, there are more than one thousand volunteers working at the three UHN sites. They come from all fields (the arts, health care, business) and all stages of life (university, college and high school students, retirees, working professionals, individuals in career transition, stay-at-home parents) but all provide care that only they as volunteers can.

"The dedication of our volunteers is outstanding," says Ivetka Vasil, Manager, Volunteer Resources, TGH & TWH. "They bridge gaps, meet needs, support and enhance the work of staff in ways we may not have thought of historically."

Our volunteers must complete an extensive process in order to qualify as a volunteer at UHN. "They do not take volunteering at UHN lightly," s​ays Heather Hardie, Manager, Volunteer Resources, PMH. "Many have stayed on for years while juggling competing demands on their time. The success of many of our activities here is a result of their commitment."

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Maria, PMH Volunteer 

I have been a proud Healing Beyond the Body (HBB) Volunteer now for over a year. I volunteer in the Wharton Head & Neck clinic at PMH. My motivation to volunteer at PMH came from my own canc​​​er experience. I was diagnosed with oral cancer almost three years ago and have been cancer free now for over two years. When I was told I had cancer, I knew nothing about this type of cancer. I did not know anyone who had this cancer and I certainly did not know what to expect. Once my ordeal was over, I knew that I wanted to be a face for patients just like myself. I wanted Head & Neck patients to know that they are not alone and hopefully inspire them with my cancer journey. I cannot adequately express in words how satisfying and rewarding being an HBB volunteer has been. I have connected with so many wonderful patients and their supportive friends and family. We have shared stories, cried together and inspired each other. I have received many thank yous and lots of hugs! My role is to listen, and provide valuable information on services and support for patients and family. I know that I and all the other volunteers are making positive impact by providing a warm and supportive experience for the many cancer patients and their caregivers while at PMH.

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Bill, TGH Volunteer

It's only been two and a half years that I've served as a volunteer in the huge Surgical Waiting Room at TGH. I wish I had started earlier. Families waiting for patients are so kind and appreciative. Nurses coming in to give progress reports are warm and compassionate. Docto​​rs are wonderful and generous with their time in answering family's questions. It's exactly the way patient-centred care should happen and I'm here to watch it and help with its operation and very thankful for the opportunity to do it.





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Victoras, TWH Volunteer

I graduated from Kaunas University of Medicine in Lithuania. I completed four years of a general surgery residency in Lithuania and will be starting my postgraduate medical training in neurosurgery​​ in the U.S. in a few months. I started my volunteer experience at Toronto Western Hospital in October of last year. Because of my strong interest in neuroscience, I was fortunate to be placed as a volunteer in the neurosurgery department volunteering with Dr. Michael G. Fehlings in the area of cord injury research. Dr. Michael G. Fehlings recently won the Olivecrona Award often referred to as the Nobel Prize of Neurosurgery. When asked what I think about volunteering at UHN, I reply: "First – the spirit of volunteerism adds a great component to one's morale. Second – lots of opportunities for new experiences. Third – the most intense English course in the city and, of course, a bunch of new friends





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