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University of Iowa News Release

April 24, 2006

UI Hospitals And Clinics To Honor Volunteers

During National Volunteer Week, April 23-29, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics will honor all the volunteers who have donated their time and energy to the hospital through this 32-year-old program. 

Volunteers play an important role at the state's only academic medical center.

"In a typical day at the information desk," said volunteer Carl Christensen, "we'll see people who are ill and frightened coming from small towns around the state -- towns that perhaps have a smaller population than this hospital. They're under a lot of stress; they don't know where they need to go; and they need someone to just take a minute and smooth it out for them."

The reasons for volunteering are as diverse as the volunteers themselves. Employee Mike Murphy said, "Having been a patient made me want to volunteer for this organization because I realized what a wonderful place it is. To be a volunteer is really special to me, because it's another way to just kind of say thank you to the University of Iowa for giving me the life that I've had, and I appreciate it."

The difference volunteers make in the lives of patients and families is immeasurable. Gwen Senio, a child life specialist with Children's Hospital of Iowa, said, "One of the things that we really cherish in a volunteer is when we have someone that stays a long time. They get to know our families -- the children look forward to seeing them."

In 2005, 1,283 volunteers donated 78,468 hours of service to UI Hospitals and Clinics. In addition to providing more than $20,000 in scholarships to high school and college student volunteers, more than $150,000 was contributed by Volunteer Services to support programs and services that benefit patients and families at UI Hospitals and Clinics.

"If you want to do something fulfilling that really adds meaning to your life," encouraged volunteer Barbara Davis, "UI Hospitals and Clinics is a wonderful place to volunteer."

To learn more about volunteering at UI Hospitals and Clinics, visit or call 319-356-2515.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room E110 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

CONTACTS: Media: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945,; Writer: Cheryl Hodgson