Supporting the Health of Our Community in New Ways

Supporting the Health of Our Community in New Ways

Supporting the Health of Our Community in New Ways

John Lindsay has a personal connection to Grand River Hospital that led him to become a volunteer.

“As a former Grand River Hospital patient, I felt a great desire to give back to both the Hospital and the community,” John told us.

A part of the volunteer program since 2005, John dedicates his time at the Hospital to his role as an Information and Portering volunteer. He is responsible for greeting and escorting patients, caregivers, families and visitors to the different departments and clinics within the Hospital.

“This volunteer role is often the first welcoming face that patients see on entering (and navigating through) the hospital and the last upon being discharged,” he explained.

Beyond the logistics of helping people navigate the hospital, Information and Portering volunteers must be friendly and courteous as they routinely interact with patients, visitors and clinical staff alike. They also contribute to promoting an exceptional patient experience in many different ways.

“Whether it’s delivering flowers, mail or ‘care packages’ to patients; ensuring that they are safely portered to waiting loved ones after being discharged; or simply having a friendly conversation and perhaps [offering] a listening ear, I have many fond memories from over the years,” John said of how he helps people as a volunteer at the Hospital, also noting that “it became very apparent during COVID just how much support volunteers provide and [how much they] were missed by hospital staff and patients.”

When the pandemic hit and clinical volunteering was suspended, John was quick to pivot, taking on a volunteer role as a delivery driver for Grand River Hospital Foundation. He transported PPE and merchandise purchased in support of the Hospital’s pandemic response to the members of our community and supported both Grand Grill and the Cambridge Pinebush vaccination clinic on a short-term basis.

“[It was] a great opportunity to support the important work of the Grand River Hospital Foundation and try something new,” John said of his array of volunteer experiences during the pandemic.

Clinical volunteers like John have made a big impact these last two years by continuing to step up to support the health and wellness of our community in new and different ways. And although John has been eager to take on new roles, he is very much looking forward to returning to volunteering at Grand River.

“Entering a hospital as a patient, visitor, or caregiver can be a very daunting experience,” John reflected. “Being told that I have put someone at ease, taken the pressure away from finding their way around the hospital, or just providing a welcoming smile makes volunteering all worthwhile and extremely rewarding.”

There are so many ways that volunteers can help Grand River Hospital: in the community, at the Hospital, and even from the comfort of your own home! Find out more about how you can get involved at