Vi Madura, of Milford, and Horace Behrle, of Ansonia, provide
assistance and comfort as volunteers at The Center for Cancer Care at
Griffin Hospital. / Contributed photo
DERBY - Treating cancer can require more than just medicine.
At The Center for Cancer
Care at Griffin Hospital, volunteers help lessen the feelings
of anxiety and loneliness that can add to the physical and emotional
strain of cancer treatment.
Horace Behrle, of Ansonia,
knows how difficult battling cancer can be, and that’s why he freely
gives his time at The Center for Cancer Care.
Behrle underwent 45
treatments at The Center and attributes his recovery to the skilled and
also kind care he received.
The experience left such an impression on
him, that Behrle has been a volunteer ambassador
at The Center for four years, greeting individuals when they come in
the door and guiding them to their destinations.
“It gives people a better
feeling when they come to a new place and someone is receptive to them
right away,” Behrle said. “When you escort people to where they are
going, it sets them at ease. I want them to know
that someone is here to help them.”
Once the patients find
where they need to be, volunteers continue to help provide a calm and
caring environment at The Center.
Volunteers offer soft touch massage to
the hands, feet or back. They provide Reiki or
Therapeutic Touch therapies in The Center’s spa-like meditation room.
In the afternoon, volunteer bakers make fresh muffins and bring them
around the waiting rooms. Volunteers also simply provide a listening ear
or a friendly smile, including the special,
furry kind that come from the therapy dogs in Griffin Hospital’s People
and Animals Working in Spirit (P.A.W.S.).
These free services are also available to patients’ caregivers.
Soft touch massage
Vi Madura, a cancer
survivor and 10-year volunteer at The Center, offers soft touch massage
and is happy to help caregivers relax because cancer treatment can be
just as emotional for a patient’s friends and family.
“I really enjoy
volunteering at The Center because I’m helping people through a very
difficult time,” the Milford resident said. “People enjoy getting the
chance to relax while they are here, the soft touch gives
them a chance to take their minds off why they are here, and that’s
beneficial for both the patients and those taking care of them.”
The work of these
volunteers is one of the pillars of the Planetree patient-centered model
of care at The Center for Cancer Care. Planetree is an innovative model
of healthcare that puts patients’ needs first by
offering welcoming and comfortable interiors and service, emphasizing
patient and family involvement in care and providing free health
education and access to medical records and information.
“The volunteers at The
Center for Cancer Care are invaluable,” said Carrie O'Malley, RN, CCM,
CHPN, OCN, patient care navigator at The Center for Cancer Care. “Their
welcoming and accommodating nature let’s our
patients know that they are important. Our volunteers do a fantastic
job helping the patients and caregivers take their minds off their
treatment for even just a few moments, taking a not-so-good moment and
making it a little easier.”
Every Center for Cancer
Care at Griffin Hospital volunteer is required to attend a three-hour
orientation, followed by a training session for their particular
After four hours of service on any given
day, volunteers are entitled to a free meal ticket at the hospital’s
This is a press release from Griffin Hospital.
Labels: Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital, Derby, volunteers