Volunteer experience shapes a future in healthcare

Springfield | May 17, 2019
Zach Garrison plays cards with a patient
As a volunteer seeks experience for a future medical career, he becomes an inspirational role model for a young patient.

Zach Garrison is in pursuit of a career in medicine. A volunteer in the Pediatric Unit at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend, he’s getting a jump-start on his career as he gains valuable, direct experience working with patients and families in a hospital setting.

“From the time Zach stepped onto the unit, he was eager, engaged and ready to help!” shares Megan Massey, child life specialist in Women’s Services at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart.

Megan notes that one patient, in particular, has greatly benefitted from Zach’s commitment to volunteering. Each week when this patient comes in, almost the moment he sets foot on the unit, he’ll ask, “When is Zach coming?”

Zach even adjusted his schedule so he can be there the same days as the patient. During one shift, when it was the patient’s birthday, Zach couldn’t be there, but he took extra steps to make sure the patient would know Zach had thought of him and was honoring the child’s special day.

This caring connection is helping shape both Zach and the patient’s future. Zach is gaining experience for his future career in healthcare and the patient is benefitting from a much-needed role model though Zach’s consistent time and attention.

“We all feel so lucky and blessed by Zach’s time and talent,” says Megan. “We can’t thank him enough!”