• Volunteer at Dana-Farber

    Opportunities

    Please inquire with Volunteer Services for the availability of all placements at Dana-Farber. Placements are based on the current needs of the departments.

    Blum Family Resource Center Van

    Blum Family Resource Center VanBlum Family Resource Center Van 

    Position

    Van Volunteer

    Summary

    The Blum Family Resource Center Van is a 39 ft. vehicle that brings cancer information and screenings to the general public with a focus on underserved communities. The van makes site visits to health centers, non-profit organizations, faith-based communities, special events, outdoor venues i.e. beaches, schools and businesses.

    Volunteer Responsibility

    The volunteers provide support to the public visiting the Blum Family Resource Center Van; encourage the public to board the van to obtain cancer information and services; work to empower the public with current and reliable cancer prevention, early detection and awareness information; and assist the van driver/health educator and other staff to run an efficient and smooth operation at all van events (health fairs, faith based communities, schools, non-profits, corporations, etc.).

    Duties

    • The volunteer will arrive just prior to start of community event and will assist the health educator/driver to secure a parking space, navigating with hand signals.
    • After parking, the volunteer will assist physically in preparing the van for visitors.
    • Duties are similar to those in the Resource Center.
    • The main responsibility is to empower patients to obtain cancer information and to make informed choices about their health.

    Essential Skills Needed

    • Volunteers demonstrate respect, awareness, sensitivity and support for diverse community initiatives and the populations of all ages that are being served.
    • Volunteers demonstrate clear active-listening skills and can stay focused while assisting visitors.
    • Volunteers are resourceful and flexible with their schedule, i.e. arrive at Blum Family Van sites 30 minutes prior to event.
    • Volunteer must be an objective person who will not personalize his or her own experiences.
    • Volunteers must demonstrate a readiness to help others and the ability to maintain healthy relationships with patients and visitors; this includes understanding the boundaries associated with a volunteer role.

    Shifts

    The van doesn't have a standard schedule of events. The volunteer is expected to volunteer at least one day per week. If there is no scheduled volunteer shift on the van, the volunteer will work in the main Blum Resource Center at Dana-Farber's main campus. This assignment is a six-month commitment of service.

    The Eleanor and Maxwell Blum Patient and Family Resource Center

    volunteer Rosemarie Adamo  

    Summary

    The Eleanor and Maxwell Blum Patient and Family Resource Centers are a comfortable learning resource center for patients and their family and friends. Individuals have an opportunity to learn about disease and treatment options. The center houses a collection of books, brochures, computers, videotapes and audiotapes. Professionals and volunteers staff the center. They are committed to helping patients obtain useful information about cancer.

    Volunteer Responsibility

    To provide volunteer support to patients and their families visiting the resource centers; to empower patients to learn more about disease and treatments options; to help the staff run an efficient and smooth operation.

    Populations Served

    All adult patients, women and parents of children.

    Duties

    • Assist patients and families with computer searches, making appropriate referrals to Boston Children's Hospital, Dana-Farber, and Brigham and Women's Hospital departments, and locating desired resources, printed materials and audio/video tapes
    • Check library materials in and out and send out reminder notices for overdue books
    • Maintain files and materials in an orderly fashion, replenish stock in room and kiosks as appropriate, notify Patient and Family Education department if booklets are low
    • Document all transactions on log sheet, and tally at the end of the day
    • Answer telephones and assists callers appropriately; refer to Nurse Specialist as necessary
    • Use all equipment in a safe and responsible manner; no eating in room
    • Distribute quality improvement surveys to patients and families who frequent the Resource Center
    • Notify the Blum Resource Center staff of planned absences; avoid last minute absences as they have a significant impact for our patients and your fellow volunteers
    • Perform outreach to patients in the clinics and on the inpatient units when staffing allows
    • Connect patient/families with the One-to-One Program

    Essential Skills Required

    • Computer literacy, including navigating the Internet, is necessary
    • Volunteers must be dependable and reliable
    • Volunteers must have strong interpersonal skills, such as meeting and greeting visitors
    • Volunteers must be flexible to take on additional assigned tasks
    • Volunteers must demonstrate a readiness to help others and the ability to maintain healthy relationships with patients and visitors, including understanding the boundaries associated with a volunteer role.

    Volunteer Shifts

    Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.

    Volunteer Patient and Family Facilitator (VPFF)

    Position

    Volunteer Patient and Family Facilitator (VPFF)

    Summary

    Volunteer Patient and Family Facilitators (VPFF) provide friendly support, guidance, and access to helpful information to patients and their families to help ease anxiety and frustration during treatment.

    Volunteer Responsibility

    The VPFF works in conjunction with the patient's provider team and Volunteer Services. The VPFF assists in self advocacy and identifying and accessing relevant resources while providing empathy and support and compassion.

    Duties

    • Connect with patients and families through internal and external referrals at any point during the treatment process
    • Help patients and families navigate all steps of patient experience at Dana-Farber and/or Brigham and Women's Hospital
    • Introduce patients and families to available services at Dana-Farber and Brigham and Women's Hospital
    • Other duties as requested such as ccompanying patients and families to appointments, tests and consults, keep family members company during patient treatment, visit with patients, provide patient transport inside Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston Children's Hospital and Dana-Farber
    • Help patient and families self advocate
    • Update Volunteer Services on services being provided on a monthly basis
    • Update relevant clinical and psychosocial staff and request necessary guidance
    • Notify relevant departments regarding any request for service outside the bounds of the service description
    • Receive quarterly supervision from Volunteer Services and relevant departments

    Essential Skills Needed

    • A minimum of 2 years experience volunteering at Dana-Farber
    • In depth knowledge of Dana-Farber services and resources
    • Ability to recognize and support the emotional needs of patients and their families
    • In depth understanding and ability to comply with all HIPAA rules and regulations
    • Ability to set healthy and appropriate boundaries
    • Ability, through example, to empower patients and families to self advocate
    • Clear understanding of role limitations with the ability to "hand off" patients and families to appropriate staff and/or service provider
    • Comprehensive knowledge of Dana-Farber and Brigham and Women's Hospital campuses
    • Familiarization with the patient and family experience
    • Good relationships with Dana-Farber care providers

    Shifts

    Monday through Friday on as needed basis determined by volunteer, patient and departments. The volunteer can work up to a maximum of 20 hours per week Monday – Friday. All hours need to be reported to volunteer services on a weekly basis.

    Friends Corner Gift Shop

    Position

    Sales Volunteer

    Summary

    Volunteers who are happy to assist our customers in choosing that special gift for any occasion staff the Friends Corner Gift Shop. Volunteers have the opportunity to offer words of encouragement to patients living with cancer. We have enjoyed 25 successful years of offering these services and hope to continue for many more to come.

    All proceeds from the Gift Shop go directly toward patient care and research programs at Dana-Farber.

    Volunteer Responsibility

    • Keep shop neat and restocked as necessary
    • Assist customers at the register
    • Help customers locate items in the store

    Essential Skills Needed

    We need dependable, reliable, attentive people who are willing to give a full day; 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., one day per week. Self direction is most helpful and a basic knowledge of a computerized cash register is also helpful but not necessary. You must be able to work in a team environment. We are looking for individuals interested in volunteer service and who want to help the Institute achieve a "world without cancer."

    Volunteer Shifts

    One day per week for a full day, 9:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    Front Desk

    Summary

    The Information Desk is the first point of contact for patients coming to Dana-Farber. The staff and volunteers therefore set the tone for all patient visits. Patients may need assistance with their appointments for the day, directions to their clinic, and other areas. The volunteers make sure this process is as seamless for patients as possible.

    Qualifications

    Previous experience in a hospital setting is highly desirable. The person in this position should have some work experience dealing with the public.

    The person should be calm and cheerful and work efficiently, especially in stressful situations.

    We're looking for a mature, sensitive individual who is sensitive about cancer issues; has a courteous and pleasant demeanor; is reliable and flexible; is willing to learn computer skills; is friendly, positive, and enthusiastic.

    Volunteer Shifts

    The desk is staffed from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays. Four-hour shifts are available.

    Responsibilities

    • Put out all supplies at beginning of shift
    • Lock supplies in cabinet at end of the day
    • Assist all patients and visitors and direct accordingly
    • Print daily list of patient appointments, while maintaining compliance with Dana-Farber patient confidentiality policies and HIPPA
    • Refer patients to Concierge Services, Financial Services, and other resources as requested/needed
    • Serve as information desk for the Institute for inquiries in person or by phone
    • Contact Dana-Farber staff, including physicians, as needed to respond to inquiries at desk, mail deliveries, etc.
    • Volunteers should make an attempt seeking concierge when absent
    • Maintain patient confidentiality at all times
    • Shred patients lists at the end of the day
    • Validate parking for approved patients per Care Coordination

    Training and Education

    • The following are provided by Volunteer Services: fire safety, patient confidentiality (including HIPPA), infection control, cultural diversity, and age-based competency
    • Review of service description with the Manager of Volunteer Services
    • A tour of the facility provided by Volunteer Services
    • Shadow an experienced volunteer on the job

    Hands on Care Program

    hand massage - larger  

    Summary

    During the past several years, many Americans have embraced integrated therapies to combat a wide range of illnesses and health conditions. People with cancer and related diseases frequently use these approaches to alleviate symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, pain and anxiety. The Leonard P. Zakim Center for Integrated Therapies provide quality clinical services to patients and families, sponsor educational programs and training sessions, and conduct research studying these interventions.

    The Hands on Care Volunteer Program provides a complimentary, personal program for patients to increase satisfaction and enhance their quality of care. Trained volunteers, under the guidance of the licensed massage therapist, will provide a 15-minute hand massage. The service is the application of a gentle, tender, soothing, touch to the hands. This service is not a treatment.

    Objective

    Through the application of a gentle hand massage by trained volunteers, patients will experience comfort and care during their chemo therapy infusion treatments. Through this volunteer and patient interaction, we are looking for decreased anxiety and increased satisfaction in overall care of the patient.

    Populations Served

    Adult patients

    Duties

    • Obtain cart and get necessary items, i.e. towels, pillows, hand wipes, Purell, moisturizing lotion, etc.
    • Upon arriving on floor, check with the charge nurse or designate and obtain a list of names. Review the list with the charge nurse or designate and verify appropriateness of each patient indicated.
    • Identify the patient by verbally asking them at least two patient identifiers, first name, middle name, last name, date of birth or medical record number.
    • Introduce yourself to the patient and briefly describe the program.
    • Follow proper hand washing techniques before and after providing the hand massage.
    • Prepare patient for the moisturizing hand massage.
    • Follow operating procedures after session is completed.
    • Give the patient the evaluation form.
    • Document the patient's name and date in binder.
    • Restock the cart for the next volunteer.

    Essential Skills Needed

    • Warm, caring, sensitive individuals who display compassion to cancer patients
    • Able to recognize the emotional needs of cancer patients
    • Able to follow directions and take supervision
    • Able to work with patients and families in stressful situations while remaining empathetic and non-judgmental
    • Committed, reliable and flexible and able to provide at least a one-year commitment
    • Able to demonstrate abilities to support all adult patients; including sensitivity to cultural, ethnic and socio-economic differences
    • Excellent communicators who can work will all levels in the Institute, i.e. nursing, administrative, etc.
    • Objective and will not personalize their experiences with patients.
    • Able to demonstrate readiness on taking a volunteer role

    Physical Demands

    Must be able push a cart around 15 to 20 lbs, with the necessary supplies.

    Volunteer Shifts

    Volunteers will be available Monday through Friday during the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The expectation is that the volunteer be available for the same three-hour block, one day per week. This assignment is for one full year.

    Food Cart Volunteer

    food cart volunteer  

    Position:

    Hospitality and Friendly Visitor

    Summary

    The Abraham D. Gosman Infusion Clinics provide infusion treatments for patients of the Dana-Farber/Partners Cancer Care. Well-trained nursing and medical experts treat adult patients with various cancers and related diseases in one of two clinical areas. Our clinics provide a warm, sensitive and positive atmosphere for all patients and their families.

    Volunteer Responsibility

    Volunteers in the infusion clinics provide a warm and welcoming presence for patients and their families and attend to patients' comfort needs. Volunteers provide refreshments and engage in friendly conversation with patients and their families.

    Population Served

    Adult patients and their families

    Duties

    • Circulate in the waiting areas and infusion rooms; offer drinks and refreshments to patients
    • Engage in friendly conversation with patients as deemed appropriate
    • Serve lunch to patients
    • Assist reception staff with greeting and welcoming patients
    • Escort patients to Dana-Farber areas
    • Maintain the nourishment center and waiting areas in a clean and orderly fashion
    • Circulate magazines, books and newspapers to patients

    Essential Skills Needed

    • Volunteers must demonstrate a readiness to help others and the ability to maintain healthy relationships with patients and visitors; this includes understanding the boundaries associated with a volunteer role.
    • Volunteers are warm, caring, sensitive individuals who display compassion to cancer patients.
    • Volunteers are self-starters who can work in a team-centered environment, as well as independently with little direction and supervision.

    Volunteer Shifts

    Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    Junior Volunteer Program

    We invite high school students, ages 16 through 18, to consider a summer volunteer placement at Dana-Farber in the Junior Volunteer Program. It is an exciting time in the history of Dana-Farber as the Institute continues to work to defeat cancer through research and quality patient care. Come be a part of an environment of learning and sharing. We hope to provide you with an opportunity of giving to the Dana-Farber community, patients and staff.

    Volunteer Placements

    Although we do not guarantee a placement of your choice, we will work with you to seek a satisfying and rewarding experience. We ask that all volunteers keep in mind our goals to deliver high quality patient care. Therefore, we strive first to meet the needs of our patients, their families and the Institute at large. Your flexibility is key to obtaining a placement. Placements may include:

    • Blum Patient Family Resource Center
    • Clinical and administrative departments
    • Food cart and ambassador
    • Book cart and newspaper deliveries

    Learn more about applying to the Junior Volunteer Program 

    How to Contact Volunteer Services

    Phone: 617-632-3307
    Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    Email: volunteerservices@dfci.harvard.edu 

    Book Cart Volunteer

    Summary

    Funded by the Sidney Farber Volunteer Award of the Friends of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the goal of the Book Cart is to establish a diversionary activity for patients. Recognizing the importance of providing a welcoming environment for patients and families, the book cart allows patients to choose from a host of reading materials while waiting for their appointment.

    Volunteer Responsibility

    Volunteers will travel throughout the adult clinics offering reading material for patients and their families. Volunteer will provide comfort to patients through conversation and general support, explaining the different services and programs that help the patients through their cancer journey.

    Population Served

    Adult patients and their families

    Duties

    • Report to Volunteer Services for assignment
    • Stock the book cart with materials, i.e. magazines, books, etc.
    • Volunteer may visit patients in the adult areas only
    • At the direction of the director of Volunteer Services, volunteers may visit patients at BWH
    • Volunteers will keep a log of materials given to patients and their families
    • Visit all clinics to seek out books left behind
    • Collect returned books from patients
    • Distribute newspapers and magazines to all adult clinics
    • Inform patients of the support services available to them by handing out various brochures and calendars

    Essential Skills Needed

    • Volunteers are warm, caring, sensitive individuals who display compassion to cancer patients.
    • Volunteers recognize the emotional needs of cancer patients and are able to connect with individuals from various cultural and diverse backgrounds.
    • You are a self-starter who can work independently with little direction and supervision.
    • You demonstrate clear active-listening communication skills and are able to maintain healthy, professional relationships with patients, while understanding the boundaries associated with a volunteer role.
    • You are an objective person and will not personalize your own experiences.
    • You will maintain a neat and friendly appearance.

    Physical Demands

    Must be able to push a 40 to 50 pound book cart

    Volunteer Shifts

    The Book Cart goes around the Institute, Monday through Friday, between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Volunteers will volunteer three to four hours one day per week.

    Music and Art Volunteer Program, Blum Patient and Family Resource Center

    Position

    Music and Art Program Volunteer

    Summary

    The Music and Art Program (CAP) provides a gentle, healing space for patients and families to explore their creativity through simple, non-threatening artistic expression.

    Volunteer Responsibility

    Rolling a well-supplied creative arts cart into adult treatment areas, volunteers will offer patients and their families' opportunities to make greeting cards to send to their friends and loved ones, as well as other small and quick art projects.

    Population Served

    Volunteers work with adult patients in exam and chemotherapy infusion clinics.

    Essential Skills

    • Volunteers are generally not professional artists, but do have some artistic skills.
    • Volunteers must demonstrate a readiness to help others and the ability to maintain healthy boundaries while assisting patients.
    • Volunteers must be self-starters who can work independently, but take direction from staff.
    • Volunteers must demonstrate clear active-listening communication skills.
    • Volunteers must demonstrate objectivity and will not personalize their own experiences.
    • Volunteers are mature individuals who can provide a positive atmosphere and can empathize with people living with cancer.
    • Volunteers have a love for creative arts and a belief that patients and their families might benefit from card making.
    • Volunteers must be self-starters who can work independently with little direction and supervision.
    • Volunteers must have clear active-listening communication skills and are able to maintain healthy, professional relationships with patients, while understanding the boundaries of a volunteer role.
    • Volunteers follow direction from staff.

    Volunteer Shifts

    Monday through Friday, one four-hour weekly shift between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    Concierge Services

    concierge  

    Position

    Concierge Volunteer

    Summary

    The Concierge Program is a place for patients to obtain information about Dana-Farber's programs and services, as well as to seek information about resources in the community. Specially trained volunteers work with the Program Manager to deliver high-level and compassionate service that enables patients to learn more about the array of support services at Dana-Farber.

    Objective

    Knowledgeable and resourceful volunteers at the Concierge Service desk help patients find information about resources at Dana-Farber and the Boston community. Volunteers work closely with the Program Manager to ensure that patients and families are directed in a timely manner to the services and programs they're looking for..

    Populations Served

    All cancer patients, their families, staff and other visitors

    Duties

    • Locate information for patients and their families utilizing various online sources.
    • Present information in a way patients can understand, paying particular attention to how much information patients can absorb.
    • Direct patients to the appropriate appointment locations and other areas.
    • Familiarize self with all the available resources and information; familiarize self with disease center locations.
    • When appropriate, escort patients within the Dana-Farber main campus facility only; this may require escorting someone in a wheelchair (see physical requirements below).
    • Record in daily logs the requests made and action taken.
    • Maintain all files and information in a neat and orderly fashion; ensure that all information is current and up-to-date.
    • Assist the Program Manager in additional duties pertinent to running a smooth and efficient operation.

    Essential Skills Needed

    • The volunteer in this role must be compassionate, reliable, dependable, proactive and service-minded.
    • Volunteers will demonstrate readiness for supporting patients in the cancer care environment.
    • The volunteer must demonstrate initiative and excellent communication skills.
    • The volunteer must understand the needs of cancer patients.
    • The volunteer should be objective and not personalize their experiences with patients.
    • The volunteer maintains patient confidentiality at all times.
    • Volunteers must be able to stand and sit for four hours; are also able to escort patients in a wheelchair.
    • Previous healthcare experience or service related experience preferred.
    • Knowledge of computers is essential.
    • Bilingual volunteers welcome with fluency in English, Spanish, French Creole, Russian, Mandarin, Arabic, and others.

    Physical Demands

    While the volunteers are required to staff the desk at all times, there may be requests to escort a patient who is ambulatory or by wheelchair. Volunteers may not lift patients in or out of wheelchairs, or transport patients via a stretcher and will not transport heavy-set patients in an oversize wheelchair. Volunteers may expected to be on the computer for long periods of time.

    Volunteer Shifts

    Volunteers will commit to four hours, one day per week. The volunteer will commit to attending an initial training session and on-going in-services. A one-year commitment is required. The Concierge Service is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    Bone Marrow Donor Recruitment Associate

    The National Marrow Donor Program and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute help match patients in need of a life-saving bone marrow transplant with volunteer donors willing to donate their bone marrow.

    The Volunteer Recruitment Associate position supports Dana-Farber Recruitment staff at donor recruitment drives. This may include setup and preparation of the space for the donor drive (signs, information table, swabbing station etc.); assisting with donor registration (reviewing consents, preparing swab kits, assisting with the swab process); greeting attendees and answering questions; help with event closing including packaging, materials inventory and clean up. A volunteer will need access to transportation to and from a drive site and should be able to lift 30 lbs.

    Drives are held on weekdays, weeknights, and weekends. There is opportunity for those who want to volunteer on an "as-needed" basis as well as those looking for a more structured program to fulfill requirements of a service project or credits.

    If you are interested, please complete the National Marrow Donor Program volunteer application form and fax to 617-632-2569.

    Summer Volunteer Program

    If you are interested in volunteering at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute during the summer, please be advised of the following requirements:

    • Volunteers must serve two half days (four hours each) or one full day (eight hours each) per week for a minimum of 10 consecutive weeks, totaling 80 hours of service.
    • Once potential volunteers have completed the Summer Application Form, they will be contacted in early May to schedule an interview and continue with the application process.
    • Applications are due the first Friday of April.

    Download Summer Application Form 

    For Additional Information

    For more information, please contact Volunteer Services at:

    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    450 Brookline Avenue
    Boston, MA 02115
    Phone: 617-632-3307
    Email: volunteerservices@dfci.harvard.edu  

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