Teens spend summer vacation giving back at Banner Boswell, Banner Del E. Webb
SUN CITY, Ariz. (July 18, 2011) – More than 85 teenagers are giving back to the community this summer, and in return learning valuable skills that will last a lifetime. The teens are part of an eight-week volunteer program offered to students 14 to 18 years old at nonprofit Banner Boswell and Banner Del E. Webb medical centers.
Corinna Cluckey, a 17-year-old Glendale resident, hopes to become a surgeon and is getting a head start on her bedside manner as she volunteers in Banner Boswell’s surgery family waiting room. Each Tuesday morning, Cluckey has the chance to provide comfort and support to patients and their families.
This is Cluckey’s fifth year in Banner Boswell’s teen volunteer program. Over the years, she has volunteered in nursing areas, information desks, sterile processing, and this year also works as a volunteer courtesy cart driver. She believes the most fulfilling role is the time she spends in the surgery family waiting room.
“You really get to interact with the patients before they go into surgery and help them relax,” Cluckey said. She also helps to support family members once patients are in the operating room. “If you see an upset person, you can talk with them to get them distracted and try to help calm them down.”
Lauren Harrell, a 15-year-old from Surprise, is one of two teen volunteers at Banner Del E. Webb who are helping in a special pilot program called Life Stories on the hospital’s acute rehabilitation unit. Harrell meets with patients and interviews them about their lives. She then writes a narrative, prints the story on decorative stationery and puts it in a frame at the patient’s bedside. The stories give caregivers a personal glimpse of patients beyond the medical condition for which they are admitted. Both the patients and staff enjoy this extra personal touch on the unit.
For Harrell, the project is a great learning experience, often about a generation with which she hasn’t had much interaction. “I really value what people have to say and the opportunity to learn about history from the people who lived through it, such as the Great Depression and World War II,” she noted. “These people have done extraordinary things and sometimes they share very funny stories, which I enjoy.” This is Harrell’s second year working as a teen volunteer. She hopes to work as a physician assistant in neonatology.
Fifteen-year-old Vanessa Flores, also from Surprise, is a first-year volunteer at Banner Del E. Webb. She works at the New Beginnings Boutique and in Endoscopy. “I enjoy helping new parents and visitors find gifts for the new babies,” she said. Flores also enjoys working with the patients in Endoscopy, where she does filing, helps transport patients and with cleaning the equipment and beds.
There are 34 teen volunteers this year at Banner Del E. Webb and 53 at Banner Boswell. The teens come from all over the West Valley, including Avondale, El Mirage, Glendale, Goodyear, Litchfield Park, Peoria, Phoenix, Sun City, Surprise, Tollison, Waddell, Whittman and Youngtown.
For more information on volunteering, visit www.bannerhealth.com or call the Volunteer Services departments: Banner Del E. Webb – (623) 214-4058 or Banner Boswell – (623) 876-5382.
Banner Del E. Webb is a 404-bed, acute-care hospital offering orthopedic surgery, heart care, emergency care, general surgery, cancer care, obstetrics and gynecology, medical imaging, women’s diagnostic services, outpatient services, rehabilitation and behavioral care.
Banner Boswell Medical Center is a 501-bed campus specializing in heart care, cancer care, stroke care, orthopedics, acute rehabilitation, skilled nursing and emergency care.
Supporting Banner Del E. Webb and Banner Boswell in their mission of excellent patient care is Sun Health Foundation, which encourages charitable giving to enhance health care delivery. Both hospitals are part of Banner Health, a nonprofit health care system with 23 hospitals throughout the West.