Jonathan Atwood is a 16-year old high school student. He is also a dedicated volunteer at Southeast Missouri Hospital since he became eligible for participation in the Junior Volunteer program two years ago. Since June of 2001, he has consistently volunteered two days every week and also responded to urgent calls for additional assistance with special projects. He is very dependable and could be an example to many adults with regards to timeliness and dedication. Jonathan has given more than 500 hours of service and he increases these hours annually.
Jonathan works in many department and capacities throughout the hospital. He has also worked his way up to his current responsibility of transporting patients for different departments, an activity that demands close attention to patient care and safety. Jonathan took the initiative in asking for a service position involving more responsibility. He was excited about volunteering in a capacity where he would have patient contact. He also assists them in a way that uplifts the patients and enables them. Jonathan is the only 16-year old at the hospital who is entrusted with transporting patients.
Jonathan has assisted in excess of 500 staff members at the facility. Most of the members of the large employee team know who he is and are pleased to have him assist them. He has made a name and a place for himself in the “adult” world. It is difficult to quantify the number of lives he has impacted because his scope has been wide at the facility. In addition to the human impact that his volunteering at the hospital delivers, the dollars saved in healthcare costs are significant. His service hours were a part of the 46,700 hours contributed by volunteers there in 2002. These hours multiplied by just minimum wage is an indication of the monetary impact that volunteering as well as Jonathan’s service has on the facility and the community.
Jonathan has responsibilities in school, but he also undertook the challenge of learning to deal with the complexity of the hospital system and various personalities. He had to learn to get along with the employees and patients as well as the processes of the various departments. Because of his service, Jonathan has developed self-confidence in dealing with people of all ages. Having a young adult in the workplace adds a special spark to the workday for all those with whom Jonathan comes in contact with.