Corina enjoys writing stories for children. This is something she receives great enjoyment doing, and her seven grandchildren benefit from her insights. When she has the time, Corina also likes to travel. Corina Serrano is very professional, responsible, and dedicated to her volunteer work at Miami Children's Hospital. The Community and Volunteer Resources department is looking forward to having her continue to volunteer at the hospital.
Claudine volunteers in the Rehab Department at the main campus by assisting with clerical work. "Claudine is very self-directed. We can always count on her to get the job done. She is very personable and gets along well with everyone," says Lisa Simeon, Administrative Assistant in the Rehab Department. "I love to volunteer. The staff always makes me feel welcome, the work is very interesting and I feel a sense of responsibility," comments Claudine. The Community and Volunteer Resource Department (CVR) assigns volunteers to various areas that need support. Aside from patient care areas, volunteers donate their time in numerous offices and offer assistance with routine clerical tasks. CVR is fortunate to have Claudine volunteer every week and they applaud her consistency and reliability.
Every week, Yanina reports to the orthopedic office and assists the staff with a variety of clerical and office duties. "Yanina is always willing to take on new tasks and has been very helpful. We find her to be very genial and upbeat. It is always a pleasure to work with her," said Martha Leshuk, Billing Coordinator.
"The doctors and staff have been great to work with and have taken the time to explain the work to me. I always feel welcome when I am volunteering and I am treated as part of the team," explained Yanina. "I enjoy helping and look forward to coming in every week."
The Community and Volunteer Resources (CVR) department places volunteers in doctor's offices and clinics so that they may support the MCH staff. Yanina is having a positive experience here and CVR looks forward to her continued assistance.
"All the volunteers are great, they are very helpful, and make our job a little easier," said Jannette Martinez, RN. One of the volunteers, Carlos Velarde, is enjoying his time at MCH. "I find it is a great learning experience, and it is truly wonderful to be able to interact with children," Carlos explained. He is an Florida International University student and is hoping to go into the pre-med program. He enjoys the positive feedback he receives from his interaction with families and staff. Carlos also serves as a translator when talking to families. Carlos feels that he is an integral part of the MCH team. "What I like best about MCH, is that it is so family oriented, and the families are quick to say what a good experience they are having here," he said.
When studying does not occupy all of Carlos’ time, he enjoys spending time with his family, playing the piano, and participating in sports. We are all looking forward to having Carlos continue to volunteer his time at MCH and with Same Day Surgery.
"I like volunteering in Admitting because I enjoy the interaction with patients, families, and staff, and the opportunity to help others," Andrew said. In the future, Andrew would like to become a firefighter, and feels it is productive for him to be in a hospital environment. Kristofer Rato, Patient Access Rep. III, commented: "Andrew is a true asset to this department. He is excellent with us and is always willing to do everything and anything. Andrew really is a big help to us on Tuesdays, and we are glad he is one of our volunteers." Andrew enjoys sports and going to the beach. Upon graduation, Andrew hopes to attend the University of Central Florida. We are grateful to have Andrew Tablante in our volunteer program and look forward to his continuing participation until graduation.
Frank Garcia, a teen volunteer, has been volunteering for the past three years at the suggestion of his mother, an MCH employee. Frank has met his graduation requirement of completing his community hours, but chooses to continue volunteering. He believes that the Library staff is very nice and feels like part of the MCH team. Volunteering in the Library has been a great learning experience for him because he spends time looking up information in journals and making copies of articles for doctors and residents. Frank is active in various clubs at South Miami High School, including the key club, interact, and drama. He is deciding whether to major in philosophy or screenplay/film studies. Frank has been a consistent, reliable, and dedicated volunteer. CVR is grateful he has chosen to volunteer at Miami Children's Hospital.
Priscilla Suzal-Wright, Coral Reef High School teen volunteer, has been volunteering at MCH since 2008. Priscilla volunteers weekly in the The Early Steps Southernmost Coast Program, located in the Miami Children’s Hospital Palmetto Bay Center. She assists the staff with clerical work. Priscilla is one of eight volunteers assisting in the Miami Children’s Hospital Palmetto Bay Center. “Although Priscilla mainly helps with clerical tasks, she is always willing to help with anything we need,” said Jannette Becerra, Administrative Assistant. “She comes in with a very cheery disposition and is ready to get started.” Priscilla plans on one day becoming a doctor and loves volunteering at the hospital. “Everyone is so nice to me and it is pretty cool to see how the hospital works,” she said. Recently, Priscilla and a group of her friends sponsored a special event in the hospital’s main playroom. The group, called “Knots of Hope,” brought all the necessary supplies to make beaded bracelets. Everyone had a great time, and the children were very excited to create and keep their bracelets. Priscilla plans on continuing her volunteer work and hopes to attend Boston University upon graduation. The Community and Volunteer Resources Department is grateful to have Priscilla as a volunteer at Miami Children’s Hospital.
Teen volunteer Nicole Martinez, who attends Coral Reef High School, is a very bright, upbeat and enthusiastic young lady, volunteering in the Community and Volunteer Resources Department. “Volunteering at MCH has been a definite learning experience. I love working in the Volunteer Department, as I am learning new skills, and I like the sense of trust I feel when I am given new responsibilities.
The staff is an inspiration to me and I admire their dedication to their job and the hospital,” states Nicole. Nicole is an excellent student who would like to attend an Ivy League college, and is exploring career paths in politics or medicine. Active on the debate team, Nicole will be going to Columbia University this summer for a four-week course in media and politics. In addition to volunteering, Nicole likes water sports, movies, and traveling with her family.
Nicole is an asset to the to Volunteer Department, where she completes all tasks quickly and efficiently, and it is a pleasure to see her on a weekly basis.
Volunteer Yanina Elias’ career goal is to be an orthopedic surgeon. She decided to volunteer at Miami Children’s Hospital for the experience and because she loves children. She currently attends Miami-Dade College and plans to continue her education at the University of Miami or Florida State University.
Every week, Yanina reports to the orthopedic office and assists the staff with a variety of clerical and office duties. “Yanina is always willing to take on new tasks and has been very helpful. We find her to be very genial and upbeat. It is always a pleasure to work with her,” said Martha Leshuk, Billing Coordinator.
“The doctors and staff have been great to work with and have taken the time to explain the work to me. I always feel welcome when I am volunteering and I am treated as part of the team,” explained Yanina. “I enjoy helping and look forward to coming in every week.”
The Community and Volunteer Resources (CVR) department places volunteers in doctor’s offices and clinics so that they may support the MCH staff. Yanina is having a positive experience here and CVR looks forward to her continued assistance.
The Community and Volunteer Resource Department (CVR) currently has six volunteers placed in Patient Access/Admitting. Volunteers assist the staff by greeting parents and patients, answering the telephones, escorting patients to other areas in the hospital, scanning materials and assisting in other clerical tasks. Teen volunteer, Andrew Tablante, has been a volunteer since June 2007, and has over 175 hours of service. To fulfill his graduation requirement of performing community hours, Andrew received encouragement to volunteer at MCH from his sister, who had volunteered previously, and his mother, an MCH nurse practitioner.
“I like volunteering in Admitting because I enjoy the interaction with patients, families, and staff, and the opportunity to help others,” Andrew said. In the future, Andrew would like to become a firefighter, and feels it is productive for him to be in a hospital environment. Kristofer Rato, Patient Access Rep. III, commented: “Andrew is a true asset to this department. He is excellent with us and is always willing to do everything and anything. Andrew really is a big help to us on Tuesdays, and we are glad he is one of our volunteers.” Andrew enjoys sports and going to the beach. Upon graduation, Andrew hopes to attend the University of Central Florida. We are grateful to have Andrew Tablante in our volunteer program and look forward to his continuing participation.
The Community and Volunteer Resource Department (CVR) is staffing the Medical Library with five volunteers. They help distribute and collect lap tops for families, make copies of journal articles, shelve books, and perform other clerical tasks as needed. “Volunteers make a difference,” said Tatiana Consuegra, Library Assistant. “They help with all our clerical work, assist with decorations when we need them, and make our jobs easier.”
Frank Garcia, a teen volunteer, has been volunteering for the past three years at the suggestion of his mother, an MCH employee. Frank has met his graduation requirement of completing his community hours, but chooses to continue volunteering. He believes that the Library staff is very nice and feels like part of the MCH team.
Volunteering in the Library has been a great learning experience for him because he spends time looking up information in journals and making copies of articles for doctors and residents. Frank is active in various clubs at South Miami High School, including the key club, Interact, and drama. He is deciding whether to major in philosophy or screenplay/film studies. Frank has been a consistent, reliable, and dedicated volunteer. CVR is grateful he has chosen to volunteer at Miami Children’s Hospital.
The Community and Volunteer Resource Department (CVR) currently has eight volunteers placed in the Same Day Surgery department These volunteers have multiple duties of helping with clerical tasks, escorting parents to Recovery, transporting beds from post op to pre op, and interacting with patients and parents.
“All the volunteers are great, they are very helpful, and make our job a little easier,” said Jannette Martinez, RN. One of the volunteers, Carlos Velarde, is enjoying his time at MCH. “I find it is a great learning experience, and it is truly wonderful to be able to interact with children,” Carlos explained. He is an Florida International University student and is hoping to go into the pre-med program. He enjoys the positive feedback he receives from his interaction with families and staff. Carlos also serves as a translator when talking to families. Carlos feels that he is an integral part of the MCH team. “What I like best about MCH, is that it is so family oriented, and the families are quick to say what a good experience they are having here,” he said.
When studying does not occupy all of Carlos’ time, he enjoys spending time with his family, playing the piano, and participating in sports. We are all looking forward to having Carlos continue to volunteer his time at MCH and with Same Day Surgery.
Roberto Iglesias, a high school volunteer, attends Southwest Senior High School. Roberto has been volunteering since 2006 and participates in Dade County’s Project Victory Program. Robert attends classes at Southwest and volunteers on a daily basis through the entire school year.
It has always been Roberto’s goal to be a disc jockey. Recently, he has started serving as a disc jockey at parties and at high school events, including a recent stint in his high school cafeteria at a holiday party for students. He plays all types of music from Hip Hop to Latin tunes.
At MCH, Roberto has gained experience in learning about the responsibilities of working in the mail room, dietary/catering and technical support. “He is a very responsible and independent worker. He also has a very kind heart, and likes to help people,” states Lisa Burger, Project Victory Teacher. Roberto likes going to the movies and riding ATVs, but mostly loves music, which is “way better than anything else.” We are happy to have Roberto at MCH and look forward to him continuing to volunteer with us.
Two years ago, volunteer Rafael Ferrer was in high school, and to fulfill his community service hours, joined our program. Now a University of Miami student, Rafael has returned to volunteer. Rafael moved here from Cuba about seven years ago. At UM, he is a pre-med student, focusing on majors in biology and Spanish, with a minor in chemistry. He is active in community service at UM and aspires to be a pediatrician. Rafael volunteers at the Information Desk, where he finds the staff great to work with, and enjoys talking to visitors and patients. He is a very polite and cordial young man, who is soft spoken and has a positive attitude. Silvia Buitrago, Customer Assistance Rep, states, “Rafael is a one-of-a kind volunteer. He always goes beyond limits to help our guests in any way possible. He is very reliable, and has an easy going and pleasing manner. It is a great pleasure to work with Rafael and we are thankful for his excellent performance.
This summer we had the opportunity to get to know teen volunteer Michelle Rojas. Michelle is a very warm, friendly young lady, always cheerful and enthusiastic. Michelle attends Felix Varela High School, and has hopes of
being a child psychologist. She had a wonderf ul experience volunteering in the Division of Behavioral Medicine, and hopes to return next summer. The department staff would love to have her return. “Michelle was a great help to us, and caught on quickly to all the work we gave her, and always had a smile on her face,” comments Madelin Junco of Behavioral Medicine.
Helping people has always been a priority for Michelle, and was one reason she wanted to volunteer at Miami Children’s Hospital. She felt comfortable with the staff and all the people she came into contact with this summer.
Michelle enjoys spending time with her family, and she also likes to read. After graduation she hopes to attend the University of Miami for medical school. We are looking forward to having Michelle participate in our Summer Teen Program again next year.
Teen Natalie Mesa has lived her whole life in Miami. She attends MAST Academy, where math is her favorite subject. Natalie would like to be a psychologist. Although she will be a junior next year, she is all set for dual enrollment at Miami-Dade College and would like to eventually attend either the University of Miami or Boston University.
Natalie made the decision to volunteer at MCH because of her love of children. She plans on volunteering until she graduates from high school. She finds the staff friendly, and says she is, “always greeted nicely.” Currently, Natalie volunteers in the CVR office, assisting staff in many clerical tasks. Natalie is very bright, competent and dependable. She is also a pleasure to work with.
In her leisure time, Natalie enjoys reading, especially the classics, creative writing, poetry, dance, and sports, particularly soccer and volleyball. This summer Natalie and her family are looking forward to visiting Philadelphia, which they will do by train. This is the first time she will be traveling by train, and she is very excited about it.
We are fortunate to have Natalie in our Teen Volunteer Program and appreciate her time with us.
Last summer, Mitchell Zuriarrain, applied for our Summer Teen Program. He had a wonderful experience and liked it so well that he is back again this summer. Mitchell attends South Miami Senior High School, where he enjoys science, and is involved with the chess and swim teams. Mitch hopes for a career in medicine, possibly as a surgeon.
These past two summers, Mitch has been working with Beth Ramey in the Simulation Lab. “I learn something every time I volunteer,” states Mitch. He finds volunteering at MCH to be stimulating and the staff very helpful and kind. The experience he is getting is “better than text book information.” He has the opportunity to ask questions and is gaining a vast knowledge of the medical field.
In his leisure time, Mitch enjoys swimming and soccer, and also in pursuing the pre-med track in various Florida colleges. He is also looking forward to continuing his volunteering every summer until he graduates, and we are appreciative of his time and dedication to MCH.
Approximately 10 months ago, a bright college student, Heidi Guevara, came to MCH to volunteer her time. She was interested in interacting with children, and she was placed on 3 East. Her experience there was very rewarding, and she enjoyed her time with the children on that unit. Most recently, Heidi changed departments, and is now in Psychiatry.
Heidi attends the University of Miami where she is majoring in psychology. She will graduate next summer, and go on to graduate school. She loves helping children and says “to see them smile, is priceless.” Heidi believes that she is meant to work with children. She has a very sunny disposition and is always smiling, and the children enjoy being with her.
This summer, Heidi will be doing research, as well as relaxing and participating in activities through her church and pursuing her photography hobby. Heidi plans to continue with her volunteer work and we are very pleased to have her in our program. She is a great bonus to us and the children!
Phyllis Salt can be found once a week, busily working in the Infection Control Office. Phyllis has been a volunteer since 1995, and has close to 3,000 hours of service. Originally from Youngstown, Ohio, Phyllis married her high school sweetheart and raised three sons. She was an active volunteer in the school system, and when her children were older, she began her career as a Miami-Dade College Library Secretary. Upon retirement, Phyllis wanted to something beneficial for the community. She learned about Miami Children's Hospital through a friend, who worked in our Administration Department. The Infection Control Department is delighted to have Phyllis as part of their team. Cathy Viar comments, " It has been marvelous having Phyllis working with us for these years. She is so
dependable, even when she goes on vacation, she ma kes sure to schedule them so they do not interfere when our data is due!
Phyllis is always cheerful and has included us all in her circle of family and friends." Phyllis is very active in Ocean Waves, a quilting organization. This year Phyllis was voted “Quilter of the Year.” In addition to quilting, Phyllis enjoys traveling, reading and her grandchildren. She also thinks MCH is the best place to be, and we want to keep her here for many more years!
Sergio Zubizarreta, a teen attending John Ferguson High School, opted to spend his summer volunteering. He was placed in the Dietary Department, where he has the highest praise for all his co-workers. Sergio had heard about our volunteer program through his school, and wanted to experience the different aspects a hospital could offer.
Born in Venezuela, Sergio moved to Miami four years ago. He is a very mature, composed young man, who is analytical and introspective. He would like to be a forensic psychiatrist, and is in the Science National Honor Society at school. Sergio’s favorite subjects are science and literature, and he is also involved in an Anime club, which studies animated Japanese cartoons.
Sergio found his co-workers in Dietary to be very friendly, and strongly supportive of the hospital. “The staff made a good impression on me, because I could see how much they cared for the children, in the way they prepared the food and meal trays.” We were fortunate to have Segio Zubizarreta participate in our Summer Teen Volunteer Program, and look forward to his return in the near future.
Saturday mornings will find teen Alejandra Bernadet volunteering on the Information Desk. Alejandra attends Coral Reef High School, where she is involved in the German Club and the Journalism Club.
Alejandra has been volunteering since 2003 and has nearly 140 hours of service. She became interested in volunteering because of her community service hours commitment for high school. Although her hours are completed, Alejandra continues to volunteer. She enjoys meeting visitors, patients, and staff that stop by the Information Desk, and receives a great deal of satisfaction through spending part of her Saturdays with us.
Her supervisor at the Information Desk, Alexandra Stoerger, comments, “Alejandra is very polite, assertive, and calmly deals with difficult callers or guests. Working with Alejandra is great, because of her enthusiasm and the happiness she feels when she is here.”
After graduation, Alejandra plans for a career in commercial design or advertising, and hopes to attend the
university of Miami. In her leisure hours, Alejandra enjoys softball, kick boxing, and dancing, particularly jazz, ballet and hip hop.
We are grateful to have Alejandra here every week to participate in our Teen Volunteer Program.
Teen volunteer Sunshine Malakoff is viewed as friendly, conscientious, and happy. Sunshine attends South Miami Senior High School and is volunteering with us through the Dade County School’s Project Victory Program.
Sunshine was born and raised in Miami, and is very excited to be volunteering and learning about Miami Children’s Hospital.
She enjoys going to the movies, the beach, and is into fitness, through exercise and yoga. Next year Sunshine will be a senior and will be going into a Work Experience Program. For now, she is gaining experience in the Dietary and Radiology Departments; previously Sunshine received experience in Child Care and Clinical Supply. After
high school, Sunshine would like to explore career fields in the pharmacy and possibly in real estate. Sunshine loves coming to the hospital because the people are so nice and friendly. Feedback from staff who have worked
with Sunshine is that, when it is time for her to leave, they all say, “Please don’t take my Sunshine away.” Thanks, Sunshine, good job!
Twice a week our Volunteer Department staff is happy to see teen volunteer Jennifer Berre. Jennifer has been volunteering since 2003, with nearly 300 hours of service. Jennifer helps with clerical tasks in the Medical Staff Services Department, and also in our Child Care Center.
Attending La Salle High School, Jennifer loves English and History. She is involved in extracurricular activities such as the Mission Club, Drama and French. This winter Jennifer had an opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C., and experience the world of politics and government, through a program called Close Up. She attended seminars and lectures presented by government officials, and met teens from all over the United States, where they learned about each other, their communities, and likes and dislikes.
Jennifer started volunteering because her mother had read about our Volunteer Program and knew it was something Jennifer would love to do. Volunteering here has proven her mother right! Jennifer loves hands-on work with the children in Child Care, helping the older ones with homework in the After School Program, and interacting with the staff, who makes her feel very appreciated.
When not in school or volunteering, Jennifer’s interests are her ballet, piano and French lessons. We are very happy to have such a multi-talented young lady in our Volunteer Program.
Every Monday we look forward to having Maria Lopez-Boy come in to volunteer. Maria has been volunteering since 2003 and is assigned to the Craniofacial Clinic Office, with nearly 200 hours of service. Maria was born in Cuba and has been in Miami since she was 5 years old. She worked for an insurance company and as a legal secretary, while raising a daughter. Having always wanted to volunteer at Miami Children’s Hospital, Maria is enjoying her weekly assignment. She helps with general clerical and office work, and finds the staff very friendly to work with. Maria is very reliable and responsible.
In her spare time, Maria likes to go to the movies, read, travel, and visit with her daughter, who is in college in Connecticut. We are very pleased to have Maria participate in our Volunteer Program and look forward for her continued assistance.
For the past two years, teen volunteer Grace Kaissal has been a weekly presence in the hospital. Grace has been assigned to clerical work in our Infectious Disease Department, has helped in the Volunteer Office, and currently is one of our Art Cart volunteers.
Grace attends Coral Gables Senior High School, where she is involved in the National Honor Society, and track and field. Grace is taking all advanced placement classes, and her favorite subject is science. After graduation, Grace wants to pursue a career in medicine. Last summer, she had the privilege of attending a pre-college program at the prestigious Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
The Red Cross, Hurricane Awareness Program, and HIV related programs have all caught Grace’s interest, and she has volunteered her time with these organizations. She has also volunteered at the Parrot Jungle for our Radio Lollipop® fundraiser, and with our Volunteer Department Recognition Celebration.
Grace has always wanted to volunteer at Miami Children’s Hospital. She loves to see little faces light up when she is interacting with patients. She gets a great deal of satisfaction knowing her volunteering is making a difference. Grace gets very positive feedback from parents and staff. While working with the Art Cart, Grace paints faces, reads stories, plays games (especially all-time favorite, Candyland), and works on arts and crafts projects
with patients in our various outpatient waiting rooms and doctor’s offices.
We are very pleased to have Grace Kaissal participating in our Teen Volunteer Program and look forward to seeing her every week.
To begin with, I would like to thank Miami Children Hospital for having a volunteer resource department for all the teens, like me, can have an opportunity to volunteer and have an experience on how every works around the Hospital. When it was the date for my interview, I was very excited and everything went well. The person that interviewed me was a very helpful person to me to get to know the Hospital and my working station. On my first day, as I got to my department area, Genetics, everyone I met were warm and welcoming. I have learned so much since that day. I learned to fax important paper to other Doctors and offices and to do copies; I have filed lab report for all types of patients. Every Friday when I go to my department, I’m always feeling like I’m at home because I feel very contented and welcomed. I view the Hospital as a caring place where children of all ages can get special treatment and develop faith in them, just like how I have by volunteering at Miami Children Hospital. I believe with the experience I’m getting in Miami Children Hospital I can absolutely decide what I want to be in the future and use my knowledge to become what I want to become in the future. I’m very joyful for volunteering in Miami Children Hospital. I’m very sorry for sending this email delayed to you. Thank you for this wonderful experience.
Teen volunteer Jake Aguilera has been volunteering this summer in the Rehabilitation department. He is assisting with clerical tasks, such as running errands, making copies, filing, faxing and clearing toys in the waiting rooms. A student, just starting Columbus High School, this is Jake’s first time as a volunteer. In order to fulfill his community service requirements, Jake picked Miami Children's Hospital because he felt it is the perfect environment for him. “The staff always compliments me, says ‘thank you,’ and I am always busy and having fun at the same time,” says Jake. “Jake is awesome, energetic, and delightful. On the mood elevator, Jake always starts his day on curious and continues climbing throughout his shift. He is the embodiment of our hospital’s values and guiding behaviors,” Says Lisa Simeon, the administrative assistant in that department.
The Community & Volunteer Resources department currently has four volunteers assisting in the Rehabilitation Office and is very proud of all of them!