Youth Volunteer Program Provides Early Start

Kona Community Hospital’s Junior Volunteer Corps (JVC) program will begin its next cohort of participants in mid-August. The program provides students 14 or older an opportunity to volunteer at the hospital and a jump-start in their future career by giving them a chance to explore different healthcare career choices.

Earl Greenia, KCH’s Chief Executive Officer, commented, “With the shortage of healthcare workers, the youth of today is the future of healthcare. I am optimistic that by inviting students into our hospital and allowing them to appreciate first-hand the rewards of healthcare, that they will consider it as a career choice. Kona Community Hospital has high standards of care and we are looking to young people to care for our community.”

“It gives students that are interested in the health care industry exposure to a hospital setting and its inner workings while serving the community,” commented Emily Mendez-Bryant, KCH Community Relations Director. “Many students think that you can only be a doctor or a nurse, but the truth is that there are a limitless number of healthcare careers available that suit every type of person.”

Participants undergo an orientation and are outfitted with scrub uniforms. They perform a variety of jobs at Kona Community Hospital, from patient interaction to paperwork. Some examples of volunteer responsibilities included putting charts together, filling water pitchers and stocking rooms, taking specimens to laboratory, pass and pick up food trays in patient rooms, observing treatment sessions, and transporting patients to designated areas.

This past Summer session had 10 hospital departments with volunteers (Business Office, Central Supply Room, Imaging, Medical Surgical, Obstetrics, Operating Room, Patient Relations, Rehabilitation Services, Radiation Therapy and Skilled Nursing).

There are three sessions per year – this first session “Spring” is from March through May; the second session “Summer” is from June to July and the last session “Fall” is from August through December.

The first and second session brought 41 students from a variety of different schools including Kealakehe Intermediate and High School, Konawaena Middle and High School, Ke Kula ‘O ‘Ehunuikaimalino, Makua Lani Christian School, and Kamehameha Schools.

The deadline for Fall applications is Thursday, August 19 with a 3-hour morning orientation scheduled for Saturday, August 21. Contact Emily Mendez-Bryant at 322-6960 or for further details.