Spirit of Alabama: DCH volunteers help hospital thrive

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve all been reminded of how important health care workers are. Here in Tuscaloosa, DCH Regional Medical Center employs 4,500 medical professionals to meet the needs of residents throughout West Alabama.

But it might surprise you that many of the folks you interact with in the hospital aren’t being paid at all.  They’re volunteers who, for a variety of reasons, want to serve others and don’t want anything in return.

DCH Director of Volunteers Wendi Parminter said volunteers help ensure the hospital does what it does best: Keeping patients and their loved ones well attended and knowledgeable.

“The volunteers are vital to our organization,” Parminter said. “They help in clinical areas, non-clinical areas, they help the community by raising money for our DCH Foundation, they help sew masks, they help us can food, they help us with just about everything.”

Volunteers are easy to spot: They wear red vests and name tags.  Volunteer CJ Mazone said this is her and her husband’s way of giving back to the community.

“I was a teacher, my husband was a fireman, and when we retired and moved back here we wanted to give back to the community because it was the community that paid our paychecks,” Mazone said. “Wo we started giving back.”

Many DCH volunteers are retired but want to stay active and enjoy being involved in making visitors to DCH feel special and welcome.  Others are University of Alabama students like Mason Hutchinson, who hopes to enter medical school after graduation.

“I’ve always been interested in medicine since I was a young kid so I think this is a great way to get firsthand experience with medicine,” Hutchinson said.

Parmenter said organizing, scheduling and working daily with volunteers just might be the best job in the DCH Health System.

“I have the best job because I get to work with people who are happy every day, who I get to help people every day,” she said. “And that’s the biggest thing.”

DCH has been serving West Alabama since 1923, and today the many volunteers will make your next visit easier and more enjoyable.

Categories: Featured, Spirit of Alabama