Volunteer Programs

Volunteers can choose from a variety of opportunities at Miami Valley Hospital, Miami Valley Hospital North and Miami Valley Hospital South. In addition, we offer these specialized programs that thrive thanks to volunteers’ efforts.

Student Volunteers

Many schools now require students to complete public service work to graduate to the next grade level. More than 70 high schools in Montgomery County alone are part of the volunteer program. Volunteers also come from medical academies such as Greentree Health Sciences Academy, Montgomery County CTC, and Ponitz Career Technology Center Nursing Program. The volunteer program also works with Montgomery County Development Disability Services (DDS) to place their clients in a hospital setting to help them develop skill sets, raise esteem, and build community awareness.

Any student, 14 and over, can apply to be a volunteer, with permission from a parent and a recommendation from school administration. There are scholarship opportunities for students who complete a minimum of 100 hours of volunteer service by their senior year in high school. The program is year-round, which is not common in most hospitals.

There are more than 200 working volunteers at any given time.

Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP)

The Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) is looking for caring people willing to commit time and talents to helping older adults during hospitalization. HELP is designed to promote a safer and more enjoyable stay while minimizing the chances of the older adult becoming confused.

HELP volunteers receive specialized training and work closely with floor staff and the Elder Life Team. The volunteers learn how to carry out activities designed to engage patients 70 years of age and older to keep physically and mentally strong during hospitalization. Therapeutic conversation, active range of motion exercises, incentive spirometry, feeding assistance, and reminiscence are among the skills our volunteers learn.

HELP volunteers have a choice of shifts:

  • Monday – Friday: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., 12:30 - 4:30 p.m., or 4 - 8 p.m. shifts
  • Weekend opportunities to volunteer from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. are available for coverage once the volunteer gains experience.

Adults 18 years of age and older are eligible to become a HELP volunteer. Please contact Melissa Sedlak, elder life specialist, (937) 208-2955(937) 208-2955, if you think this opportunity matches your interests. We look forward to speaking with you.

Gift Shop

Our gift shop, located in the main hospital, is staffed by volunteers. The proceeds benefit programs for patients, staff, and families of Miami Valley Hospital. The gift shop strives to provide a convenient service for hospital staff, patients, and families. Quality is important to all customers, and the gift shop is run like any successful business. This is evident in the customer comments about the freshness and quality of flowers from the gift shop that volunteers deliver to patients.

The gift shop does special sales and special events around seasonal themes, such as Secretary's Day, Valentine's Day, special flower sales, or when Ohio State University plays the University of Michigan. Special items are stocked for sale around these days. Hours are extended for these events, and third shift employees are grateful to have the gift shop open late.

The gift shop does no promotion outside of the hospital. Email reminders of events and sales are sent to management forums to alert employees. The gift shop is open to the public and welcomes business from outside the hospital. As a convenience, it takes credit card orders over the phone. This allows speedy delivery of the freshest flowers to hospital patients.

Pet Therapy

Pet therapy has been very successful at Miami Valley Hospital since it was started here in 1999. Pet handlers and their dogs and cats volunteer to visit the hospital on a weekly basis. Physicians now commonly prescribe pet therapy for hospitalized patients. Nurses and patients also request it. Pet therapy is very popular among patients in the rehabilitation and psychiatric units.

Pets often give patients a distraction from their condition. American Heart Association research shows that therapy dogs ease anxiety and have a positive effect on heart patients. These special pets are also popular in the hospital lobby.

Pet therapy pets are screened and specially trained. All dogs are certified as therapy dogs through Pet Partners, Miami Valley Pet Therapy Association, and DOGTORS, where the dog and handler complete an eight-week, 20-hour course in working with patients. The dogs also pass a physical exam every six months and are bathed before each visit.

Become a Volunteer

We welcome your interest in becoming a volunteer at Miami Valley Hospital, Miami Valley Hospital North and Miami Valley Hospital South. We’re happy to answer your questions and place you in an area that matches your skills and interest.

To learn more and to volunteer, call us at (937) 208-2879(937) 208-2879:

  • Monday – Thursday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

If you are a high school student, please contact Rhonda Gosnell at (937) 208-2616(937) 208-2616 for further information on volunteer opportunities.