A Day in the Life of a St. Clair Health Volunteer
St. Clair Health has a group of noble and caring individuals who volunteer their time to provide patients and visitors with an added “human touch” when they come in for our services. Our volunteers are not just some of the first faces visitors usually see at St. Clair Health. They often go above and beyond to support patients and family members during what may be a taxing time.
Paul Fox is no doubt one of those volunteers who has left a lasting impression on so many during his nine years with St. Clair Health. A retired Upper St. Clair music teacher who has been volunteering with his wife, Donna, since 2013, Paul’s bright spirit and big personality are well-known throughout the St. Clair Health community. We are grateful he volunteers a couple days every week on our main campus, helping people however he can and making them smile in the process.
When Paul volunteers on Thursdays and Fridays, his days start at 7:00 AM. His shifts generally last from 8:00 AM to noon, but he likes to get in early so he can help with any additional tasks that need done. For example, he starts by stopping at the first-floor information desk to see if there is any mail that needs taken to the mailroom. Once he arrives at the volunteer office, Paul begins to prepare for the day by ensuring there are enough wheelchairs readily available.
Then, he proceeds to the Dunlap Family Outpatient Center, where he works the majority of his shift. Paul’s main task as a volunteer is to help patients and family members navigate Dunlap Family Outpatient Center and the hospital. He starts by escorting a patient to their room and providing the nurse with the patient’s chart. He then takes the family members to the patient’s room and helps them navigate the rest of the St. Clair Health main campus upon request. When the procedure is over, Paul will use a wheelchair to safely get the patient to their car so they can return home.
When he is done assisting a patient, he then moves on to escort the next. “It would not be an exaggeration to say that I escort as many as 50 individuals per day undergoing outpatient surgeries, endoscopies, colonoscopies, or other diagnostic testing, along with an equal number of family members to and from the treatment rooms,” explains Paul.
Paul thoroughly enjoys being a volunteer. He loves meeting new people and knowing that he is able to help ease the minds of our patients. Plus, volunteering helps to keep Paul physically and mentally well. He is a big believer in the fact that moving keeps you healthy. By the end of one shift, he will often get about 17,000 steps in.
Not only does volunteering allow Paul to stay physically active, but it keeps his mind active as well. It helps to work and challenge parts of his brain. For example, he tries his best to learn the names of the many patients and family members he helps daily, which helps him with his memory and keeping his mind active and engaged.
Paul used to be a music teacher, so he also enjoys singing to our patients. He will often make up songs or think of songs that correlate to the person’s name. It is fun for him and it also helps to make the patient’s appointment or procedure less stressful.
Additionally, Paul often gets to escort people that he knows. He loves when he gets the chance to assist a previous student or colleague. Sometimes he has the opportunity to meet the children of his past students, and it makes the experience of volunteering even more special for him.
Why St. Clair Health?
“St. Clair Health has four c’s: caring, compassion, commitment, and community,” explains Paul. His family has been a part of our health system for a long time. All of their doctors are St. Clair physicians, and if they ever need to go to the hospital, they always turn to St. Clair.
Paul has always admired St. Clair because its employees go out of their way to show that they care for their patients, and he felt the need to give back to the health system that has taken good care of his family for many years.
Want to Volunteer?
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, you can check out our volunteer opportunities by clicking here. Paul encourages people to consider volunteering because it provides you with the rewarding feeling of knowing that you were able to help someone. He wants people to remember that, “You may not be able to donate money, but you can always donate your time.”