Thursday, January 30, 2014

Griffin Hospital in Derby seeks volunteers

Volunteer John Pitts of Ansonia

DERBY - As many make plans to improve their health and well-being in 2014, Griffin Hospital reminds everyone volunteering is a great way to help the community and can be a way to improve one’s own health.
According to the Corporation for National & Community Service, recent research shows that individuals who volunteer in their community experience physical and mental health benefits through receiving a greater sense of purpose and accomplishment.

Ansonia resident John Pitts understands the joys of volunteering.
For the past eight years, Pitts has baked fresh muffins in the morning for patients and their caregivers. He never envisioned himself as a baker, but Pitts said he loves the role.

“This is great job. I get to put a smile on people’s faces,” Pitts said. “I’m a bit of an underdog when I go in to see the patients because no one really wants to be in the hospital, but having that aroma of fresh baked muffins and giving something warm to eat makes people feel comfortable and you get a great feeling when you see smiles come across their faces.”

As a hospital committed to the Planetree patient-centered model of care, Griffin Hospital offers a wide variety of volunteer opportunities that allow individuals to use their skills in providing a more comfortable and therefore better healing environment for its patients.
Planetree is an innovative model of healthcare that puts patients’ needs first. Planetree designated hospitals shape every aspect of their care by the Planetree principles, including welcoming and comfortable interiors and service, and an emphasis on patient and family involvement.
Volunteers play a critical role in providing this exceptional care at Griffin Hospital.
Starting with a patient’s first step in the door at the hospital, Volunteer Ambassadors escort the patient to his or her appointment. These ambassadors also assist visitors and caregivers find their loved one’s location in the hospital.
Room Service Volunteers visit patients to tell them about all the Planetree amenities, including complementary soft touch massage, therapeutic touch or Reiki treatments, therapy dog visits, guided imagery meditation, aroma therapy, portable DVD players or a fresh-baked cookie or muffin. In addition, to being the messengers about these services, Griffin Hospital offers opportunities to become the volunteer provider of these services, providing training in each of the therapies and baking.
Volunteer therapy dogs and their owners are also needed. People and Animals Working in Spirit (P.A.W.S.) bring smiles to the faces of patients as only the human-canine connection can.
Each dog must pass a rigorous behavior and medical screening prior to entry to the program. All breeds of dogs who qualify for testing for therapy dog work are welcome.

Every Griffin Hospital volunteer is required to attend a three-hour orientation, followed by a training session for their particular assignment. After four hours of service, volunteers are entitled to a free meal ticket at the hospital’s Dining Room.
For more information about these and other volunteer opportunities, call 203-732-7555 or visit

This is a press release from Griffin Hospital.

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