54 Years and Still Giving More

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 Information Desk.

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 Sierra View.

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 atanguma@sierra-view.com.