Sue Wilder, a volunteer at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital for 18 years, understands that when someone enters the hospital, they are at an extremely vulnerable point. Her first time at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital was when her father was admitted as a result of congestive heart failure.
“He ended up spending seven weeks in this hospital on almost every single floor,” Sue said. “I was just so impressed with the care, the staff, how he was treated and how I, as a family member, was treated. Because of that, I grew attached to the hospital.”
Inspired by her mother, who volunteered at a community hospital in Wisconsin, she decided volunteering would be something she would also like to do. In her role as a volunteer, she makes it a point to extend a compassionate attitude to each person she encounters.
“On the fifth floor, we have labor and delivery on one end of the hallway and intensive care on the other end,” she explained. “You have very different moods on the same floor, so the most important factor in my approach is compassion. You need compassion in sad situations, stressful situations and even happy situations.”
Sue, who has lived in Glendale for almost 22 years, volunteers as chair of the USC Verdugo Hills Hospital Foundation, whose mission is to raise and manage funds in order to meet the health care needs of the Foothill communities.
Volunteers are an integral part of the care at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital, whether by accompanying patients to different rooms, offering families in the emergency room a blanket or just showing them that they care.
When Sue goes home from her shifts, she feels exhilarated. Sue has found a family among both the staff and volunteers at the hospital, noting both groups interact frequently.
“Here, everybody is just part of the team,” she said. “Everyone wants to work, and everyone wants it to be the best – from the volunteers to the CEO of the hospital.”
By Leonard Kim and Andrea Aldana
Established in 1972, the volunteer services department at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital attracts, retains and recognizes qualified in-service volunteers. Sue is one of more than 200 dedicated volunteers, ranging in ages from 16 to 95, who provide their time and talent as volunteers in many areas in the hospital.