Miami Valley Hospital (MVH) offers a variety of volunteer programs and values the contribution of each and every MVH volunteer.
Many schools now require students to complete public service work to graduate to the next grade level. Seventy plus high schools in Montgomery County alone are part of the Volunteer program. Volunteers also come from medical academies such as Greentree Health Sciences Academy, Isus Health Academy, and Ponitz Career Technology Center Nursing Program. The Volunteer Program also works with The Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (MRDD) to place their clients in a hospital setting in order 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 over 280 working volunteers at any given time.
Volunteer at the Gift shop
Miami Valley Hospital (MVH) has two gift shops staffed by volunteers. One is in the main hospital and a smaller one is located in the Berry Center. The proceeds benefit programs for patients, staff and families of Miami Valley Hospital. The gift shop strives to be 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, like Secretary's Day, Valentine's Day, or when OSU plays Michigan. Special items are stocked for sale around these days. Sometimes hours are extended for these events and third shift employees are appreciative 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.
Volunteer for Pet Therapy
Pet Therapy has been a very successful program at MVH since it was started 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 common among rehabilitation and psychiatric patients.
Pets often give the patient a distraction from their condition. The 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.
Pets Therapy pets are screened and specially trained. All dogs are certified as Therapy Dogs through the Delta Society® or Miami Valley Pet Therapy Association®, where the dog and handler complete an eight-week 20-hour course in working with patients. The dogs also pass a physical every six months and are bathed before each visit.
Palliative Care Nurse Volunteers
MVH has six retired nurses who volunteer with Palliative Care. When a patient is dying, they come in to sit with the patient and the family.