For Pat Kramer, volunteering at Saint Francis Hospital-Memphis was the perfect way to give back to his community.

For Pat Kramer, a friend’s suggestion led to Saint Francis Hospital-Memphis becoming an important part of his life. “I was talking with a friend of mine who has been a volunteer for many years,” remembers Pat. “I had been thinking of doing some volunteer work, and he said, ‘Well why don’t you come up to Saint Francis and see what it’s like.’ So I did.”

Pat wasn’t sure what to expect and started out volunteering in various areas of the hospital. “I ended up doing two or three different activities in the first year,” says Pat. Eventually, Pat found an activity that really suited him. “I finished up another assignments and got onto doing the ‘goodie cart.’ It’s a cart that goes around the hospital selling treats to employees and visiting family. I’ve been running that goodie cart now for about six years, usually two days per week. I’ve enjoyed it very much, meeting a lot of friends throughout the hospital.”

A New Role

After learning about the hospital and spending time volunteering, Pat realized he had the capacity to do even more. “For the past five years I’ve been President of the Saint Francis Volunteer Auxiliary,” says Pat. The Auxiliary helps support the volunteer services at the hospital with special programs and fundraisers. “Over time, the Auxiliary has done numerous projects to help at Saint Francis. We’ve created rooms intended for families to relax away from the patient they may be visiting. We’ve purchased vans used for bringing patients to the hospital or bringing them back home if they didn’t have transportation means. We also provide for patients who don’t have the ability to purchase medications the doctor has prescribed, we will supply the first month.

“We have approximately 100 volunteers who serve in various capacities throughout the entire hospital,” says Pat. “If it wasn’t for them, the hospital really couldn’t operate.” For those interested in getting involved at Saint Francis, Pat believes it to be a worthwhile endeavor. “It’s something that is beneficial to yourself, to the hospital and to the patients. Just give it a shot.”

To learn more about volunteering, contact Linda Knight, volunteer coordinator. She can be reached by email at linda1.knight@tenethealth.com or by phone at (901) 765-1808.