Because it is National Volunteer Week, we wanted to recognize the role that our volunteers play and the contribution they make to the community. At Community Health Connect, we have quite a few volunteers that help our organization run smoothly. The three most common and consistent volunteers we have are medical and dental providers, volunteer medical interpreters, and client relations specialists.
Medical and Dental providers
Community Health Connect works with a network of specialty medical providers who volunteer their time to assist low-income and uninsured individuals in Utah County. They offer an array of services to our patients by providing them with free care in their own offices. We would not be able to function without our generous providers. Thanks to them, hundreds of individuals in the community receive needed care that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford.
To provide an optimal experience for our patients and volunteer providers, CHC arranges to provide patients with fluent translators at their appointments when necessary. Translation needs are for Spanish speaking interpreters, but other languages are occasionally needed. Currently we have about 25 volunteer interpreters that attend doctors’ appointments with our patients throughout Utah County. They provide a valuable service in helping our patients and providers better understand each other and ensure that our patients’ needs are being communicated accurately.
Client Relations Specialist
This is a fancy way of saying front desk volunteers. Just like our interpreters, these volunteers speak Spanish. Currently there are 5 that come in for a specified shift each week. They work directly with our clients both in person and over the phone to assist them in receiving the care that they need. They don’t set up appointments or coordinate care for our patients, but they do help our patients at the beginning of the process. These volunteers answer the phone and direct calls, answer questions, help people apply for our program, and with other projects around the office.
Volunteers also help us throughout the year with things such as teaching our oral health class, helping at elementary school varnishing’s, data entry, and our annual provider thank-you event.
In 2015, our volunteers volunteered as interpreters for about 342 hours and our office volunteers volunteered for about 314 hours. If we had to pay someone to do these same tasks, it would have cost our organization roughly $9,952! (According to median pay of interpreters and front desk receptionists in the U.S.)
Without all of these great volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do. Their individual contributions make a difference in the lives of many people in our community and amplify the efforts of our small office staff.
We love our volunteers!