Porterville, CA l February 13, 2017
– Since 1963 Sierra View Medical Center has been a hospital to doctors,
employees and patients alike, but it has also been a home to a group of
men and women who dedicate years of their life to serving others. Since
1963 Sierra View Medical Center has had the privilege of housing the Volunteer League.
When patients need an escort, employees need assistance, or departments
need deliveries, Volunteers are there to provide support. This dedicated
group of men and women donates an estimated 56,000 hours per year to the
hospital and is currently made up of more than 90 members. In addition
to their everyday duties, Volunteers also manage the lobby Information
Desk, Volunteer Medical Assistant Desk, Gift Shop and the Volunteer Surgery
Just ten years after the Volunteer League was installed at SVMC, Betty
Shelton was sending her youngest sons off to college. With an empty nest
and newfound free time on her hands, Betty looked to Sierra View to donate
her time and energy after having been a registered nurse before having
children. When her own daughter Susan retired, Betty encouraged her to
do the same and the mother daughter pair now serve as Volunteers in the
League. After seeing the five-story inpatient tower constructed in 1995
and 43 years of service, Betty has seen the Volunteer League grow and
expand alongside Sierra View Medical Center.
“We’ve all gotten a lot older, but when I first started we
had just two volunteers that did everything for the hospital. After the
tower was added, we increased our numbers,” said Betty. The League
has also diversified in recent years, having added male volunteers and
even young adults who can gain experience by serving their community at
Diamond Jordan is one such volunteer. Currently a nursing student at Porterville
College and member of the SVMC Volunteer League, Diamond plans to become
a registered nurse after she finishes schooling. Diamond was just 18 years
old when she joined the League in July 2015 to gain experience in a hospital setting.
“I get asked a lot why I’m volunteering if I’m not 60
years old, but it’s a good experience to have and I love interacting
with all of the people I get to meet,” said Diamond. “It’s
great working with the Volunteers because a lot of them had a medical
background before volunteering so it’s good to hear their advice
and get their insight.”
Whether volunteers join the League to fill their free time like Betty or
gain experience like Diamond, they are always welcome. Bryan Lester first
volunteered two years ago to give back to the community and serve at the
hospital, but found unexpected friendships in his fellow volunteers.
In addition to seeing the gratitude patients and employees express toward
the League, Bryan continues to volunteer because of his coworkers and
the welcoming environment that has been a constant at the hospital for
years. This environment is the reason many volunteers, like Betty, dedicate
so many years of their lives to the Volunteer League.
“You look forward to the days you work so you can see other volunteers,
staff members and even patients. The League helps others go forward in
their education and is active with patients and employees. It’s
a really neat thing,” said Roberta Israel, SVMC volunteer of 10
years. Roberta worked for 20 years as a registered nurse in Lindsay before
losing her sight. However, she found she was still able to serve in a
hospital setting through the Volunteer League aided by her service dog, Trevon.
The League is an active part of Sierra View Medical Center in providing
scholarships to employees looking to continue their education, organizing
fundraising efforts for medical equipment, and engaging with patients
and employees. For three years, the Volunteer League has been managed
by SVMC’s Volunteer Coordinator, Amy Tanguma. With the assistance
of the League Secretary Juliana Glydon, Amy schedules volunteers, serves
as a liaison between volunteers and employees, and manages the League.
All members of the community are welcome to join the Volunteer League at
Sierra View to experience the rewarding atmosphere that comes with assisting
patients and employees each day. “With volunteering comes a sense
of productivity and feeling like you still have a lot to give,”
added Roberta. Joining the Volunteer League provides lasting friendships,
experience, joy and a home at Sierra View Medical Center.
For any questions or to join the Volunteer League, please contact Amy Tanguma
at (559) 788-6076 or