Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital’s Transitions Program

Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital’s Transitions Program serves any adult in Yakima County with a life-limiting illness. A life-limiting illness is one with a limited prognosis or that presents new challenges, significantly impacting an individual or the family’s well-being.

The program relies heavily on volunteers. Kathryn Holman, the program’s volunteer coordinator, visited KIT 1280 on Oct. 28, 2014, to talk more about volunteering for the Transitions Program

How does the Transitions Program help people?
• Transitions provides assistance with planning, education and support in coping with a serious, life-limiting illness through social work and volunteer services.

How do volunteers help?
• Volunteers provide companionship, transportation, help with errands, light housekeeping, and/or meal preparation. As the number of Transitions clients increases, we are utilizing more and more volunteers.

Many of our Transitions volunteers transition themselves to aiding clients when they become hospice patients. Many of our volunteers have spoken about the value and rewards of giving of themselves for others. We’ve found that clients and volunteers form a special bond.

What are the steps to becoming a volunteer?
• Complete a volunteer application
• Complete two days of volunteer training
• 1-on-1 interview with volunteer coordinator
• Meet health requirements
• CPR certification (for in home visitors only)
• Shadow another volunteer (for certain positions)
• Annual evaluation and in-services

Who does Transitions serve?
• In 2012-2013, an average monthly census of 72 clients
• Clients reside independently, in assisted living facilities, adult family homes and nursing homes
• Ages range from late 30s to early 90s
• Clients diagnosed with many different illnesses

Who pays for the Transitions Program?
The Transitions Program is funded by The Memorial Foundation. There is no cost to participating clients and their families. The Transitions Program does not bill any insurance for services provided.

Memorial Hospital has a rich history built with help from volunteers, starting in 1948 when the first guild members began fundraising to meet the community need for a new hospital. Today, our more than 300 active volunteers serve in 80 volunteer positions at the hospital, in 57 departments.

For more information, visit yakimamemorial.org or call (509) 574-3655.

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