Company: Orlando Health’s Spiritual Care Volunteer Program
Location: Orlando, Fla.
Volunteer supervisor, Phyllis Fitzwater, has been providing Orlando Health’s Spiritual Care Volunteer Program for the past 20 years, having become their manager last March. Since the program began in 1980, she has picked up from there, gaining recognition for the positive contribution made by chaplains as members of her healthcare team. Specifically through Orlando Health, Ms. Fitzwater also coaches the organ donation committee team, and manages 125 people of faith that support the work of the chaplains in a variety of ways.
Throughout her work-week, Ms. Fitzwater trains new volunteers and helps existing volunteers escort loved ones to the bedside in the Intensive Care Units and the Emergency Department and visit new patients in Cardiology, Neurology, Orthopedics and Oncology to introduce Spiritual Care services. She also helps knit prayer squares and shawls to give to patience, provides a compassionate presence and listening ear to families in the Intensive Care and Cardiac Critical Care waiting rooms, and calls or visits homebound patients affiliated with the Visiting Nurse Association, part of Orlando Health, to offer encouragement. Ms. Fitzwater also bakes goodies for staff appreciation events, provides clerical support for special projects, and serves as a greeter for special events like the Annual Ethics Symposium.