Spotlight on volunteers

Volunteering to help fight
COVID-19

Posted April 23, 2021

Volunteers are an integral part of Joseph Brant Hospital’s commitment to provide exemplary health care. Through partnerships with staff, volunteers help create a positive experience for patients at the Hospital. We are proud to have more than 500 dedicated volunteers who contribute more than 72,000 hours a year in over 40 areas of service.

In March 2020, our volunteers were asked to stay home and though a small group returned in the summer, they were paused again during the provincial lockdown in December. Their absence was very much felt hospital-wide as the prolonged pandemic situation kept volunteers from returning to full capacity.

However, in March of this year, with the opening of the Halton Region COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic in the hospital’s Pandemic Response Unit, we were thrilled to welcome a team of volunteers back into the hospital, specifically in the Vaccination Clinic. 

Volunteers, staff and physicians are working together to create a positive, impactful experience for those coming in to receive their vaccination.  We currently have close to 80 volunteers working in the Clinic enhancing the experience for patients by providing wayfinding and calling to remind patients of their appointments. To date, we have administered over 10,000 vaccines and our volunteers play a significant part in the clinic’s success. Our community members are eager to pass along a positive word about their vaccination experience, whether in person at the clinic or on social media.

To celebrate National Volunteer Week, we are featuring two of our volunteers who are a part of our Vaccine Welcome Team. Rohan Puri and Daivat Bhavsar are amongst our team of volunteers who help guide patrons every step of the way through the vaccination process to help alleviate any stress and anxiety. 

Rohan Puri, Volunteer, HELP & Vaccination Clinic

Rohan began volunteering as a high-school co-op student in the Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP), a program that enhances patient care for older adults. Now, in his second year of volunteering, Rohan responded to a call-out for volunteers to help fight COVID-19 by volunteering at the vaccination clinic.

Rohan says: “As a part of the vaccine clinic, just being able to help with the distribution of the vaccine and feel as though I am making a difference (after such a crazy year) is the most impactful part of the role. To be able to say that I helped with the beginning of the end of COVID-19 is big.”

In addition to supporting the vaccination clinic, Rohan has truly enjoyed working in the HELP program, where he provides social interaction and engages in selected activities with patients to prevent delirium and loss of function.

We asked Rohan about what the most impactful part of his role is.

“I think that HELP is a unique program at Joseph Brant, as we are able to directly interact with patients by doing exercises, games as well as talk with the patients and spend time with them. Being another friendly face that dedicates even just 15 minutes to reinforce to the patients that there are so many people at the hospital that are looking out and thinking about them and working to try and help them in their process of returning to health is impactful.”

Daivat Bhavsar, Volunteer, HELP, Volunteer Representative Diversity & Inclusion Action Table & Vaccination Clinic

In 2019, Daivat began volunteering at Joseph Brant Hospital because he wanted to give back to his community and develop essential skills needed for future opportunities in the healthcare field. Like Rohan, Daivat began volunteering in the Hospital Elder Life Program.

We asked him what he finds most rewarding in his role as a volunteer?

“I enjoy helping to uplift the mental health of senior patients by encouraging socialization and physical movement during their prolonged stay at the hospital.”

In addition to being a volunteer at the hospital, Daivat also participates as a Volunteer Representative on the Diversity and Inclusion Action Table Committee. Formed in 2020, the Action Table develops an annual Action Plan with prioritized activities aligned to the Diversity and Inclusion Framework. The Action Table draws on the personal experiences and engagement of our employees, physicians, volunteers, leadership, patients and community. Daivat helps contribute to discussions about how the hospital can work to further improve care and inclusivity.

“Volunteering is truly a privilege to build and give back to your community and the rewards for your personal character are only limited by the greatness of your contributions!”

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