Message From the Director

I have the best job in the world. Every day, people from all walks of life come into my office at Cedars-Sinai's Department of Volunteer Services and tell me their stories. Sometimes, they have been patients and know firsthand what it's like to be lying in that hospital bed. Sometimes, their parents or grandparents have made contributions to the hospital and they want to perpetuate a family legacy. Sometimes, they dream of medical careers and want to gain valuable experience before making important educational and vocational decisions.

Always, the people who come into my office want to offer themselves in service. They tell me that they have come to the hospital because they want to touch someone else's life. And soon enough, they become incorporated into the heart and soul of the medical center. Week after week and year after year, they deliver flowers or magazines, work with their dogs to perform pet therapy, run errands for doctors and nurses, offer to do makeup for our cancer patients, or play the piano in our Music for Healing program. They offer a listening ear or a supportive smile, and they sit at patients' bedsides in conversations that do not have time limits.

At Volunteer Services, we start by having a conversation: “Tell us about yourself. What are you looking for? Why do you want to volunteer?” Every volunteer has a journey, and we help pinpoint individual interests and skills so we can connect those who arrive at our office to one of 400 possible assignments. At Cedars-Sinai there is something for everyone.

I have the best job in the world because my office is like my living room, and you, the volunteers, are my guests. You come to visit me and tell me who you are, and in return, I get to tell you about all the opportunities we have at the hospital. Together, we can all make a difference in people's lives.

Barbara Leanse
Director of Volunteer Services