Celebrating Healthcare Volunteers

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Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre

Tom Coulthard is one of the 800 volunteers at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre making a difference for patients and families.
Tom Coulthard is one of the 800 volunteers at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre making a difference for patients and families.

THUNDER BAY – HEALTH – Meet Tom Coulthard, one of the many volunteers of TBRHSC who make a positive and impressive impact on patient and staff experience. Not only has Tom been an exemplary Courier volunteer for 9 years, offering 830 hours of service to date, he has also been a staff Porter for 8 of those years.

Tom is well respected throughout the organization in both of his roles. He is known for being a positive, happy, caring, and compassionate person, who is courteous and ever-respectful of everyone he comes in contact with. “I love people,” he says. “And I work every shift with an eye to building and strengthening relations and relationships, not only between others and myself, but between others and my fellow volunteers and co-workers.”

In 2006, Tom came to TBRHSC determined to serve. He explains he felt called to come here. “My daughter, at 21 years of age, had just completed an almost year-long battle with cancer and survived. That battle was fought at TBRHSC, and when it was over and she was blessed with her second chance at life and living, I felt drawn to volunteer service.”

Every Tuesday afternoon, you will find Tom delivering small items from one location to another within the hospital as a volunteer Courier. Staff can access his service via pager through Switchboard, thereby alleviating their time spent on those administrative tasks and allowing staff more time to attend to their patient care duties. Equally important is Tom’s role in exceptional patient and family centred care, as he assists outpatients to their desired destinations who would have difficulty getting there themselves and provides help and direction to anyone who appears to need it. He says he loves this high-energy, often high-paced position that requires a trustworthy individual with strong interpersonal skills and a love of helping others.

He is one of several volunteers who is also employed at TBRHSC. When asked about this dynamic, he explains that each role has served to enhance and enrich his experience of the other. “I developed into a much better, more well-rounded employee as a direct result of my volunteer experience and, likewise, I found I developed a much healthier respect for, commitment to and appreciation of my own role and duties as a volunteer as a direct result of being a paid employee.”

His impeccable service in dual roles over the years is a testament to his tremendous commitment to the organization. He feels grateful and truly blessed to volunteer here. However the patients, families, volunteers, and staff are equally privileged to have his support. We thank him, and all of the volunteers, for the significant community impact they make through their compassionate and dedicated service.