Volunteers back at CHI Saint Joseph Health

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – It’s national volunteer week, so to honor those who serve, CHI Saint Joseph Health welcomed them back for the first time in over a year.

Volunteers have received the COVID-19 vaccine in order to protect patients and staff.

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“It’s so exciting to be in here again and get to see faces of people we know and love,” Gold said.

Tom Gold is a spiritual care volunteer at CHI Saint Joseph Health, one of 325 volunteers across the whole system.

He’s been volunteering at CHI Saint Joseph Health for a little over eight years.

“I work hand-in-hand with the chaplains just simply to assist them in whatever ways that. Visiting patients in rooms and various things,” Gold said.

He says he wanted to give back to the community once he retired.

“It’s just comforting people. It’s just giving a cup of cold water in Jesus’ name. So that to me, gives me great joy and I love to do that,” Gold said.

Spiritual Care Market Director Kathy Mattone says the healing process hasn’t been complete without the volunteers.

“To be able to have folks back in the building, just checking on people, rounding in waiting rooms, praying with patients who need it before surgery. As Tom said just providing a little bit of comfort and peace in the midst of the chaos. We’ve missed that so much,” Mattone said.

The hospitals still have visitor restrictions, so she says volunteers mean a lot to patients right now.

“It can be pretty lonesome and scary to be in the hospital by yourself and the staff is busy taking care of everyone and doing all of their work so to have a volunteer that can just come and sit at the bedside and help someone figure out how to turn the tv on or make a phone call or get a question answered, it’s sort of like being like a guardian angel,” Mattone said.

To learn more about volunteering for saint joseph health, head to their website.