Comer volunteer reading with a patient

Donate Your Time

Thank you for your interest in volunteering at the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital. We value our ability to offer health and wellness services to children and families in our South Side communities. In return, our neighbors help us by donating their time.

Our team of volunteers is vital to our mission, which is to provide superior health care in a compassionate manner, ever mindful of each patient’s dignity and individuality.

Our volunteers are true stars — exceptional individuals who take the extra steps that make a difference in another person's life. They help in countless ways by making a child giggle. They comfort families who are worried about loved ones. Through deeds large and small, volunteers help patients and their families feel better during difficult times.

Benefits of Volunteering

  • Personal fulfillment
  • Free skills training in volunteer work area
  • Free health screenings, flu shot and parking in the visitors' garage
  • Making new friends with service-oriented people
  • Enhanced knowledge of healthcare system, hospital programs and services
  • Annual volunteer banquet in recognition of your service at UChicago Medicine

2020 Summer Volunteer Program

UChicago Medicine is looking for highly motivated volunteers to enhance our patient and family experience this summer. If you are interested in a career in health care, home for the summer months, or just want to make a difference in the community, our 10-week summer program provides you with the opportunity to engage with patients, families, and staff in a meaningful way.

  • You must be at least 16 years of age at the time your application is submitted.
  • You must commit to 10 to 12 weeks, completing 100 hours of service from early June to late August. This is a weekly commitment of about 6 to 10 hours per week. (10- to 12-week commitment, 100 hours of service)
  • Application is due by April 30, 2020.
  • Qualified candidates must interview with a program manager by May 22, 2020.

For accepted candidates:

Accepted candidates must complete onboarding process no later than June 7, 2020. Onboarding process includes background check, health screening, orientations, and training.

This opportunity is not available for B-1, B-2, H1-B, and H-4 visa holders. Applicants with permanent resident cards must provide a copy of their card to our office during the time of the interview.

Complete a volunteer application and begin your path to volunteering.

We will contact you within 10 business days after we have receiving your application to set up an interview if a spot is available.

Ways to Volunteer

The following are a few examples of our volunteer program opportunities at the UChicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital.

Volunteers are trained to hold infants in our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to provide comfort and aid in their development. In addition to holding, volunteers are trained to read aloud to infants.

To be considered for this program, volunteers must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Complete 40 hours of service in our children’s playroom
  • Receive recommendation from the Child Life and Volunteer Services staff

This program is highly prized and applicants must complete the prerequisites before advancing to the program. Waitlisting may apply.

Volunteers provide various activities, promoting a more child-friendly and engaging experience during potentially long wait periods for patients and families at Comer Children's. By facilitating quick crafts and programming, volunteers help to ease the hospital visit experience for both children and caregivers.

The outpatient waiting areas requires a volunteer to be available during the weekdays, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Scheduling is flexible but requires a recurring commitment of three to four hours per week.

Our current scheduling needs are Monday, Wednesday and Thursdays.

Volunteering in the Comer Children's Emergency Department (ED) allows you to gain experience working with children of all ages. Volunteers in the ED provide activities (toys, coloring sheets, etc.) to patients and their families in the waiting room and the exam rooms. Ongoing responsibilities include cleaning toys, making copies of coloring sheets and doing bedside visits with patients in the exam rooms.

Scheduling is flexible but still requires a recurring weekly shift of three to four hours per week.

To be considered in this program, volunteers must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older 
  • Complete 40 hours of service in our children’s playroom
  • Receive recommendation from the Child Life and Volunteer Services staff

Volunteers are paired with a child patient in our Child Life playroom. The playroom provides development activities that a child would normally do outside of the hospital setting. Activities include reading, arts and crafts, and playing games. Playful activities offer our pediatric patients a safe and fun escape from illness, tests and treatments. When a patient is unable to leave their hospital room, volunteers are trained to deliver and play activities at the bedside.

This program requires a volunteer to be engaging, interactive, friendly, and good with children of all ages.

Volunteers must be able to serve one of the following set shift times and serve the entirety of the shift each week.

Playroom shifts are: 

 

Monday through Thursday

9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

1 to 4:30 p.m.

4:30 to 8:30 p.m.

 

Friday

9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

1 to 5:30 p.m.

 

Saturday and Sunday (Waitlist may apply.)

1 to 4:30 p.m.

Join Our Hyde Park Volunteer Team

Volunteers must be:
  • At least 16 years old and in good health
  • Willing to commit to 4 hours of service per week
  • Able to pass health screening tests for tuberculosis, measles, German measles, chickenpox and illegal drugs
  • Willing to complete and receive an annual tuberculosis (TB) test and influenza vaccination

To become a volunteer, your first step is to submit an application. If a volunteer opportunity is available, we will contact you within 30 business days of receiving your application to set up an interview. Please note that we are unable to accommodate group volunteering.

Complete a volunteer application and begin your path to volunteering

For more information, contact our team:

Email

volunteers@uchospitals.edu

 

Phone

773-702-4421

 

Fax

773-834-1297

Frequently Asked Questions

Sixteen (16) is the minimum age to volunteer. We are legally unable to accept applicants younger than 16 years of age. Some select programs require volunteers to be at least 18 years of age.

Hospital volunteers are required to serve a minimum of six (6) consecutive months and complete 100 hours of service within a year. Most of our volunteer programs require a weekly shift of 3-4 hours.

Applicants accepted into our volunteer programs must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 16 years of age, 18 years of age for select programs
  • Complete 100 hours and commit to six months of service
  • Pass a mandatory health and drug screening completedthrough UChicago Medicine
  • Complete and pass criminal background check
  • Provide immunization history or be willing to receive missing immunizations including an annual influenza vaccine
  • Receive general volunteer training and attend program specific volunteer training
  • Volunteer opportunities are not available to B-1, B-2, H1-B, or H-4 visa holders

This opportunity is not available for B-1, B-2, H1-B, and H-4 visa holders. Applicants with permanent resident cards must provide a copy of their card to our office during the time of the interview.

Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate group volunteering or short-term volunteer opportunities. If you are interested in hosting a special event for children or making a donation, please contact the Child Life Department at 773-702-0407.

UChicago Medicine is a multi-site institution. There are three primary medical facilities that have hospital volunteer opportunities at this time:

  • UChicago Medicine and Comer Children's in Hyde Park (main campus)
  • UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial in Harvey
  • and UChicago Medicine Center for Advanced Care in Orland Park

Each location has different volunteer programs available that best suit the needs of the patients and families for that facility. Please be sure to read the volunteer programs offered at each facility and apply accordingly.

We do offer a summer only program. The minimum requirements remain the same however volunteers must serve their 100 volunteer hours in 12 weeks. The open application begins March 1. The deadline to apply is May 15. Those that do not apply by May 15 are not eligible to begin the upcoming summer program.

UChicago Medicine does offer these types of opportunities, but they are not coordinated through the Volunteer Services office. If you are interested in an internship or to shadow a doctor, please contact the department you are interested in interning/shadowing directly. Opportunities are select and custom to each department. There are formal requirements and the approval and onboarding process can take up to six weeks.

All applicants must submit a volunteer application, be invited and attend an in-person interview, and complete the onboarding process (health/drug screening, background check, and training). Volunteers typically complete this in two to five weeks from the time accepted. There is no cost to volunteer at UChicago Medicine.

Note: Volunteers do not take the place of salaried staff. Volunteer service is not intended in any way to lead to paid employment.