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Volunteer Opportunities

Fort Sanders Regional is fortunate to have a family of volunteers possessing a wide range of talents and experience. Whether they are greeting visitors, escorting patients, comforting a family in time of need or helping in the gift shop, our volunteers are known for their devotion to others. Since 1955, the Fort Sanders Volunteer Auxiliary has provided a smiling face, a caring ear and a heartfelt hug to thousands of patients and visitors. But the Auxiliary also provides monetary support for many hospital departments and patients through annual sales and fundraising initiatives.

Mission Statement

We serve the community by improving the quality of life through better health. Members of the Fort Sanders Auxiliary have donated more than one million hours of service, totaling a value of more than $18,000,000 in time and energy on the hospital’s behalf. Fundraising efforts consistently add tens of thousands of dollars each year, which help departments in our facility purchase much needed equipment or services.

History of the Volunteer Program

The Fort Sanders Auxiliary was formed with elected officers and a board in 1955. With by-laws, ­we operate nine volunteer programs (listed below). Additionally, the Auxiliary sponsors the Regional Gift Shop and receives all net income from sales, and honors all requests from Administration for patient care and services.

A Variety of Volunteer Programs at Fort Sanders

Wherever your passion lies, Fort Sanders Regional offers a variety of opportunities to help provide excellent service to our patients:

Ask Me: Volunteers will be stationed around the hospital to direct and escort visitors to the right place.

Auxiliary: Auxiliary volunteers will assist with duties in a number of places, including the surgery lounge, front desks, gift shop and administration. The Auxiliary is governed by a twelve-member board with elected officers and is the sanctioned fundraising arm of Volunteer Services, voting on capital requests from Administration funded by proceeds from the hospital gift shop.

Baby Spoons: Spoons are delivered to each newborn born at Fort Sanders Regional.

Fellowship Center: Volunteers will assist guests of the Fellowship Center, Fort Sanders’ hospitality house for families of patients from outside the region.

Heartstrings:  This volunteer musical group provides music therapy and entertains patients and visitors each month.

HABIT (Human Animal Bonding in Tennessee): HABIT volunteers and their pets provide animal-assisted therapy.

Newborns in Need: Volunteers prepare layette items for mothers to take home with baby.

NODA (No One Dies Alone): Volunteers act as compassionate companions to patients in their last moments of life.

Knitters: Volunteers teach long-term maternity patients how to knit.

PEER: Past stroke, spinal cord and brain injury patients mentor and encourage current patients about life after their illness. This role includes reading to patients, assisting with letter writing, or simply providing conversation and friendly company.

PEER Bariatric: Past bariatric patients mentor and encourage current bariatric patients on living a healthy lifestyle.

Random Acts of Flowers: Volunteers assist with the delivery of flowers.

Silk Pillowcases: Handmade silk pillowcases are given to current chemo patients struggling with hair loss.

Stephen Ministry: Stephen ministers are lay ministers trained to provide spiritual support to patients and caregivers.

Student Volunteers: Our student volunteers (18 and older) share their special gifts and energy with hospital patients and staff.

Thompson Cancer Survival Center (TCSC): Cancer survivors mentor and assist current cancer patients. These volunteers also assemble baskets given to each new TCSC chemo patient.



Patient Stories

  • Back in the Saddle

    After spine surgery at Fort Sanders Regional, Michelle Rose is finally free from the suffering that held her back for so long.

  • Going Beyond the Limit

    Tammy Brooks arrived by helicopter at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center at least 24 hours – maybe even several days – after suffering an acute ischemic stroke.

  • WATE-TV: East Tennessee man survives one of the deadliest types of stroke

    A local man survived the type of stroke that normally kills 80 percent of its victims. He’s doing so well, he just moved to Europe and is enjoying life to its fullest. It’s been three and a half years since Ken Harrawood suffered a stroke. It hit while he was driving to Y-12 for his first day of work with Bechtel. He now lives in Manchester, England.

  • WATE-TV: Technician who works with stroke patients becomes one himself

    Adam Hill gets the tools in place for the next life-saving surgery in the interventional radiology lab at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center. As lead tech, Hill knows this place like the back of his hand. He never dreamed he’d be a patient receiving treatment here, suffering from a ruptured aneurysm, like so many patients he’s helped treat.

  • Fast Action Makes a Difference for Stroke Patient

    Since recovering from a stroke, Paul DeWitt appreciates simple pleasures that are easily taken for granted. He grasps a cup of coffee. He smiles and laughs. He even appreciates the ability to whistle.

  • Doctors Use Tiny Vacuum To Help Stroke Patients

    Jane Coleman heard her husband make an odd noise, “almost like hiccups but not exactly,” but when she turned to look at him, she knew immediately what was happening: He was having a stroke.