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Volunteering at WakeMed

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Cary Hospital Volunteer Profiles

Following find profiles of a few spectacular individuals who volunteer at WakeMed Cary Hospital. Learn more about volunteering at Cary Hospital.

Mark Mathis and his hospitality pet, "Aragorn" Volunteer Mark Mathis dog Aragon

I'm a native of Charlotte, NC, but I lived all over the US before finally settling back in the Raleigh area.  As an engineer, I work in the pharmaceutical biotech industry designing equipment and systems for drug products.  My wife Heather and I live in Apex, where she is a full-time mom to our two boys Ryan and Connor.  Connor plays piano and hockey on one of the local teams.  My older son Ryan also plays hockey.  Ryan has Autism, and after getting him his first Service dog, I started breeding and training dogs for Service for other families.  About every other year, my family and I can be found raising another batch of Briard puppies, both for Service roles and as pets to loving families. I focus on Autism Service dogs but currently have a trainee that will go to a retired veteran to help with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In my spare time, I enjoy playing the piano and singing, and on Friday nights I perform at Peak City Grill in Apex. 
I began volunteering at WakeMed Cary Hospital in 2012.  My responsibilities are to tend to my Service dog "Aragorn" as he brings a pleasant change of scenery to hospital patients, as well as to staff members and other volunteers.  An unusual looking dog, he's named after the well-known hero in the novel Lord of the Rings.  My Aragorn's a bit of a hero in his own way, as he always brings a smile to those who aren't necessarily feeling well.  He welcomes the hugs and petting he receives.
I volunteer to spend time with my dog and disconnect from work for a while.  I enjoy meeting new people and sharing information about Aragorn and the Briard breed.  Volunteering with your dog is great socialization for them, and it helps them keep up with their manners and training in public places.  And there's nothing quite like seeing someone light up when you bring round a furry friend for them to meet.  Volunteering at WakeMed with Aragorn is a unique opportunity.


Amrita Dusara Volunteer Amrita Dusara

My ancestry is of Indian origin, but I was born and raised in Tanzania, East Africa. While attending college at Kingston University in London, England, I met and married my husband, Ketan. After earning my Bachelor's degree in bio-medical science, we moved to Cary, NC in September, 2010.

My goal is to become a physician, and I am currently in the process of completing my prerequisite classes for medical school here in the U.S.  In my free time, I volunteer at WakeMed Cary Hospital on the 2E Medicine floor as a part of the Diversionary Activities Group. We provide recreational activities such as bingo, board games, story time, arts and crafts and other experiences with four to five patients at a time.  These activities stimulate patients, primarily those who have delirium and are "at risk" for falls.  I also help the nurse techs on the floor, stocking supplies and helping feed patients.

I have always been passionate about helping my community.  I believe in the saying, "Some help in money and some help in kind." I am a helper in kind, and I love investing my time in people and doing something important for others.  When we moved to Cary, I saw on WakeMed's website that they were recruiting new volunteers. I filled out the forms and came in for an interview.  A week later I was invited to the training.

There are never enough hands to do all of the world's work.  As a volunteer, I go in knowing I will enjoy the place and the people, as well as doing things that need to be done.  And when I finish my work, I know I've made a difference. It doesn't get any better than that. The feeling is priceless.


Allie Frear Volunteer Allie Frear

As a little girl growing up in Pennsylvania, I worked on my family's dairy farm, sang competitively, and taught Sunday school at our church.  I lived in a small town, but I had big dreams of doing something that would help people and enable them to live better lives. In high school, my interests veered toward nutrition and women's health. I attended the University of South Carolina, and in 2011, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health and became a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). After moving to Cary, NC with my husband Ben, I became a Clinical Research Assistant with Wake Research Associates.

I joined WakeMed Cary Hospital as a volunteer in November 2011, and began working in the Women's Pavilion and Birthplace Postpartum Unit.  Some of my responsibilities include delivering meals, assisting the nurse's aide and nursing staff, and filling in as a secretary. Going to the hospital on Saturdays is the best part of my week, because I have the opportunity to work alongside some of the most incredible medical professionals I have ever met.  I'm also gaining experience that will help me reach my professional goals. But most importantly, I volunteer because I love people and I want to help them.

At WakeMed, I have the ability to make a difference in a patient's day by acting as a liaison between them, their nurse, and their doctor. Together, we get to coordinate and facilitate the best care possible for the patient. This combination of hard work, relationship building, and medical experience has me continually coming back for more.


Polina Kotik Volunteer Polina Kotik

I'm a student at North Carolina State University, as well as a tutor at ASPSA, a tutoring facility for athletes at NCSU.  Tutoring is a great way for me to help others, and I get a lot of satisfaction when my peers are as successful in the classroom as they are on the field or court. I'm a Cary, NC native, and my plans are to attend medical school and become a doctor.

In my free time, I volunteer in the Emergency Department at WakeMed Cary Hospital, working in the Rapid Admission Unit.  My job is to help patients as they come into the ED and to assist the professional caregivers in any way I can.  I also spend time with patients on the 2 East Medical floor, leading diversionary and recreational activities for small groups of patients.  We play all kinds of games together, I read to them, and we do art projects.  Most of these patients are unable to walk, so I do what I can to keep them mentally and physically alert and active.  The friendships I've built with the patients are very meaningful, and I've learned so much from the nurses and doctors who care for them.

One of my favorite quotes is by Margaret Mead. She said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Volunteering at WakeMed gives me a sense of purpose, and in some small way, I know I'm helping to change the world.  I want to encourage others - especially young people like myself - to consider using their energy and talents to volunteer at WakeMed.  The benefits are too many to count.


Dela Adams Volunteer Dela Adams

There are two things I've always wanted to do with my life: work with children, and become a nurse.  I accomplished my first goal in my home state of Maryland, where I worked in a childcare facility for 24 years. I have family in North Carolina, so three years ago, I moved here and enrolled in school to become a medical assistant.

I wanted to make sure medical field was really what I wanted to pursue, and I'm a giver at heart.  I thought, "What better way for me to do both than to volunteer at a hospital?"  So I signed up to work at WakeMed Cary Hospital every other Saturday. I volunteer in the Emergency Department as a greeter at the registration desk.  I welcome patients, get wheelchairs for them if necessary, and basically do everything to expedite their care.  Then on Thursdays, I volunteer on the 2E Medicine floor as part of the Diversionary Activities Group.  The patients and I read books together, we play bingo, and they teach me all kinds of things about the state of North Carolina since I'm not from this area.  Most of my patients are in wheelchairs, so I help them do arm exercises and get them active and talking.

Volunteering is one of the most rewarding things you could ever do.  I have the honor of helping those who can't do for themselves.  My patients know someone cares about them, and I am rewarded by the good feeling of giving back and helping.  I am an active member of St. John Metropolitan Community Church, and I believe my work at WakeMed is a way of carrying out my faith.  I may not be getting a paycheck for volunteering, but I'm having one of the greatest experiences of my life.


Chun-Hong Ho Volunteer Chun-Hong Ho

I’m originally from Taiwan, but I moved to the United States to attend Iowa State University. After earning my graduate degree from Michigan State University in wood science and products, I worked with Georgia-Pacific Corporation as a process controller for 11 years. I’m now employed in the pharmaceuticals industry with Mallinckrodt in Raleigh. My wife Eva works with IBM in Research Triangle Park, and both our daughters are students. One is about to complete her doctorate degree in Pharmacology next year at Emory University, and the other attends Enloe High School. I am very blessed to have three wonderful ladies who love me.

I began volunteering in the Pharmacy at WakeMed Cary Hospital because I have a passion for making our society better, especially on a local level. By offering my time and professional knowledge, I show my neighbors I care for them and their well-being. On the flip side, it’s wonderful being around WakeMed employees who are dedicated to helping and healing, and I’m inspired by them. Our community is very fortunate to have such a highly-esteemed health care facility and so many talented caregivers in our midst.

I believe volunteering is simply showing kindness to others without expecting anything in return. You don’t have to have a special talent or skill to be successful, just a willingness to serve. We may never know the hardships people go through in life or the burdens they carry, but from my perspective, volunteering allows me to be a light in a sometimes dark world. And that’s a pretty good feeling.



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