volunteering hands

Donate Your Time

At the University of Chicago Medicine, we value our ability to offer health and wellness services in our South Side and south suburban communities. In return, our neighbors help us by donating their time.

Why Volunteer?

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

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

 

For more than a century, we've provided lifesaving care in Chicago and the Southland. As a volunteer, you can help support our compassionate delivery of health care services in our communities.

UChicago Medicine believes in treating the whole person — not just the symptom. We believe in treating each individual with respect and dignity. We believe in giving our patients the best possible care and services. We believe in community. And, we invite you to join our community of care.

Most volunteers say that the personal fulfillment that comes from helping another person is their greatest reward. Other volunteers look forward to the new friendships and a sense of purpose that they share with fellow volunteers. Others enjoy learning new skills.

In appreciation of the work and time our volunteers contribute, UChicago Medicine offers benefits for volunteers, including:

  • Annual volunteers recognition banquet
  • Free health screenings
  • Free parking in the visitors' garage
  • Free skills training in volunteer work area

Ways to Volunteer

Becoming a volunteer begins with a genuine interest in helping others. UChicago Medicine offers opportunities to share your skills, talents and time with those in need. Choose from a variety of opportunities to help our patients and their families.

Volunteers round on patients admitted to the Adult Emergency Department (ED) and in the waiting room. They offer a calming presence amidst their urgent situation, and go to each patient to offer company, support, magazines and other comfort items. Volunteers also assist staff by taking the initiative to prepare patient rooms, restock supplies and more. Volunteers must adjust to a dynamic environment by finding ways to contribute on both slow and fast-paced days. The staff of the ER may give extra duties to volunteers who have demonstrated initiative and earned trust. These duties do not include direct medical contact with patients.

Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older. Scheduling is flexible.
Under the direct supervision of the nursing manager, ambassadors are responsible for performing various services for patients and staff members at UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial. As ambassadors, volunteers make rounds on the inpatient unit, offering a calming presence, a listening ear, support and comfort to enhance the patient experience.

Volunteers can cuddle babies in our neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) to provide comfort and aid in their development.

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

Located in the Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine, volunteers in our Comprehensive Cancer Center make a difference in our patients’ lives.

Volunteers provide a healing and supportive environment to our patients waiting to receive care in our hematology/oncology and infusion therapy clinics. They offer patients and visitors with light refreshments, assist with directions and escort them to their appointment. Additionally, volunteers assist staff with administrative tasks. 

Volunteers must be able to come in during weekdays between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.

At the University of Chicago Medicine Blood Donation Center, you may be able to help some of our patients by donating blood or platelets they need to recover. You may even be able to donate directly to a family or friend in need of a blood transfusion.

Under the direct supervision of the gift shop manager at UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial, volunteers are responsible for operating the cash register, assisting with stock, gift shop upkeep and performing various services for patients and staff members.

Under the direct supervision of the manager of volunteer services, information desk volunteers and greeters help enhance our patients' experiences at UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial. These volunteers provide a warm and welcoming atmosphere for patients and visitors by:

  • Greeting our guests and providing excellent customer service
  • Providing information and directions as needed, along with escorting guests to various locations in the hospital
  • Performing various services for patients and staff members as required


Under the direct supervision of the department manager, volunteers provide administrative support in various hospital departments. Their assistance makes an invaluable contribution to daily operations. Tasks can include data entry, filing, office organization, mailings, helping with informational patient materials, answering phones and providing excellent customer service to guests and staff.

Opportunities may be limited to weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

A high profile position that enhances our patient experience, volunteers are responsible for providing a warm and welcoming atmosphere for patients and visitors as they visit the Center for Advanced Care in Orland Park. Volunteers are stationed in our lobby and clinic areas, ready with a smile to address questions and take visitors to their destination.

You must be able to volunteer for at least four hours Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or Saturday between 8 a.m. and 12 noon.

Complete a volunteer application for our Orland Park location

Volunteering in the Pediatric 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.

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

At Comer Children’s Hospital, 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 youngest patients a safe and fun escape from illness, tests and treatments. When a patient is unable to leave their hospital room, volunteers bring toys and games to the bedside.

Volunteers must be able to volunteer during set shifts.

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

  • 1 to 4:30 p.m.

Families waiting for news of a loved one's surgery are often anxious. Volunteers in the surgery waiting room located in the Center for Care and Discovery’s Sky Lobby help soothe tattered nerves and provide other assistance to patients' families. Volunteer greeters and escorts are responsible for providing a welcoming atmosphere for patients and visitors as they enter the surgery waiting room. Additionally, volunteers assist in light administrative tasks to help with the operational flow of the department.

Volunteers must be able to volunteer during weekdays between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

At the Center for Care and Discovery and Mitchell Hospital, volunteers provide a helping hand to our patients, visitors and staff. Volunteers round on our adult inpatient units, checking in with each patient to provide more comfort during their stay. Whether offering reading materials, comfort items, a listening ear, or support, visits from volunteers encourage healing and ease to our patients and families. Additionally, volunteers assist with requests from patients, staff and visitors. 

In addition to this volunteer role, we are looking for volunteers that have an interest in art or playing music for our patients.

Scheduling is flexible. The most need is during weekdays between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

We are continuously accepting books, magazines and board games that are new or in good condition. Please call us for more information about opportunities to make in-kind donations at:

  • UChicago Medicine and Comer Children's in Hyde Park: 773-702-4421
  • UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial: 708-915-5214
Comer Children's Wish List
Make a donation to support playtime for patients at Comer Children's Donation Wish Lists

Join Our Volunteer Team

Learn how you can take the first step to find a volunteer opportunity at UChicago Medicine.

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.

Additionally, 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
Complete a volunteer application and begin your path to volunteering

Located on our Hyde Park medical campus, Comer Children's Hospital offers unique opportunities to help our young patients and their families.

Learn how you can apply to serve as a volunteer at Comer Children's.

Eligibility:

Volunteers must be at least 14 years old and are requested to donate at least 1 day a week for 4 hours.

Application:

To apply for a volunteer position, all potential volunteers must complete an application, attend a free initial orientation and participate in an interview screening process.

Once you've reviewed and completed our volunteer application, call 708-915-5214 to schedule an interview.

Health criteria:

A current tuberculosis (TB) test is required for volunteering, as well as a physician's statement indicating that you are able to participate in an active volunteer program. We can provide the TB test free of charge.