Volunteers on a Mission

Apr 16, 2023


Lauren Ashmore recently celebrated her 15th anniversary with Adventist Health Portland, where she serves as the volunteer services manager. We asked her to share her thoughts about what volunteers mean to patient care, Adventist Health Portland’s mission…and each other.

Who exactly makes up our volunteer team?

Our volunteers range from age 16 to 90. Students are often looking for experience in the health care industry or need volunteer experience to help with college and scholarship applications. Our older volunteers are typically retired and have a lot to give still to their community.

What happens when you put those generations together?

The older volunteers get the students to help them with technology like their cell phones. The younger people learn how to work with diverse ages in an environment that requires cooperation and connection. It’s also such a social job, and now volunteers are having potlucks and texting each other. The physical movement and social connections are good for everyone’s mental health.

What do our volunteers do?

Volunteers run our gift shop, which raises funds to purchase patient care equipment and fill other needs. They help in the mailroom, central supply and our discharge/escort service. They deliver meal trays and run errands — basically anything they can do to enhance how our clinical teams care for patients.

How do they contribute to the Adventist Health mission?

Our mission is living God’s love by inspiring health, wholeness and hope. That means we are here to love people the best way we can, in any way we can. Sometimes we are the first and last encounters with patients, and we want them to experience an environment where they feel valued and respected. I remind our team, “Everything you do matters because it helps patients feel taken care of well.”

Pictured above: Lauren Ashmore (center) manages nearly 100 volunteers who donate their time to support patients, staff and families throughout our hospital.