Peachtree City resident Kim Calamoneri has always been interested in medicine. She was a candy striper at a hospital when she was 13 years old and she returned to volunteering at a hospital 10 years ago when she joined the Piedmont Fayette Hospital Auxiliary. In December of 2016, after volunteering close to 3,000 hours with the group, Calamoneri was recognized with the group’s Spirit of Volunteerism Award.
“I love being at the hospital and helping people all the time. It’s a happy place to be,” Calamoneri said.
It is the kindness and compassion of the physicians, nurses and volunteers at surgical services that sets the tone and helps families through what can often be a tough day.
“The main job of a volunteer in surgical services is to make the patient and family feel that they will be well taken care of by the team. We greet them at check-in, bring the patient to where they need to go and keep the family up to speed throughout the process,” Calamoneri explained. “People can be very anxious when they come to the hospital and our job is to keep everyone calm.”
Calamoneri volunteered at her children’s schools when they were growing up. As that part of her life was winding down, she knew she needed another place to plug in. She found Piedmont Fayette Hospital and it was a perfect fit. She now volunteers every Thursday at the surgical services desk and serves as the coordinator for the area for the Auxiliary. She was shocked when she won the award in December and she gives a lot of credit to her friend, Geri Mitchell, who recently passed away.
“Geri was the coordinator before me and she trained me. She was a fabulous volunteer and I miss her,” Calamoneri said.
There’s always room for more volunteers at Piedmont Fayette and there are a wide variety of areas to work in and jobs to be done. Calamoneri’s advice for aspiring Auxiliary members is that you “have to like hospitals and you have to like people.”
Calamoneri loves meeting new people during her four hour shift every week and she loves Piedmont Fayette Hospital. It is that spirit that earned her the group’s most prestigious award.
If you are interested in joining the Piedmont Fayette Auxiliary, contact Kirsten Soriano at 770-719-5758
Adult men and women over 18 years of age are invited to join the volunteer services at Piedmont Fayette. The Auxiliary also has a summer program for students ages 14 to 18. This past year nearly 140 students were accepted into the Piedmont Fayette Youth Auxiliary program for an opportunity to explore a future in health care while learning the value of giving back to the community. For more information, please call the Auxiliary office at 770-719-7098.
Volunteer opportunities are available at Piedmont Fayette Hospital in the following service areas five days a week with some service areas available seven days a week, nights and weekends:
• Surgical Services
• Emergency Services
• Fitness Center
• Peri-Anesthesia Care Unit
• Cancer Wellness Center
• East and West Information Desk
• Gift Shop
• Radiology Imaging
• Wound Care
• Med Surg 3
• Pre-Admission Testing/Laboratory
• Care Support
• Courtesy Cart Drivers
All Piedmont Fayette Hospital Auxiliary volunteers are required to follow all hospital policies and procedures, become a member of the Auxiliary, attend an orientation and annual re-training, purchase a volunteer uniform to wear while volunteering and pay annual dues.
The Piedmont Fayette Hospital Auxiliary is seeking applicants for two scholarship programs to assist students pursuing healthcare careers. The two scholarship programs are the Piedmont Fayette Hospital Auxiliary Scholarship and the Debbie Johnson Memorial Scholarship.
The Piedmont Fayette Hospital Auxiliary Scholarship awards a limited number of scholarships valued from $500 to $1,000. Qualified applicants must be students pursuing healthcare careers with a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) or higher. Applications are only open to residents of Fayette County unless they are Piedmont Fayette Hospital employees, Auxiliary volunteers or their dependents. Additionally, applicants must attend or have been accepted to a health related program in a Georgia College/University.
The Debbie Johnson Memorial Scholarships are valued at $500 and are available to current seniors of, or graduates of a Fayette County high school with a GPA of 3.0 or higher (no age restrictions). Applicants must attend or have been accepted to a nursing program at an accredited college/university in or out of the state of Georgia.
Applications for both scholarships will be available for pick up by colleges and high schools on February 1, 2017 with a return deadline of March 29, 2017 and will be available to the Piedmont Fayette Hospital staff and Auxiliary members on the same date. Applications will be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Piedmont Fayette Hospital Auxiliary Office, 1279 Highway 54 W., third floor, Fayetteville (next to Piedmont Fayette Hospital).
For more information, call the Piedmont Fayette Hospital Auxiliary office at 770-719-7098.