For Volunteers at Marin General Hospital, Recognition and Scholarships Are Among the Many Rewards

Scholarships help student volunteers and employees pursue healthcare careers

GREENBRAE, CA — Virtue may be its own reward, but as high school senior Karen Monterroso learned, the reward can be more than psychological. She is among 10 teen volunteers, 4 adult volunteers and 10 Marin General Hospital employees who have been awarded scholarships this year. These awards come just in time for National Volunteer Week (April 21-27) honoring the 240 men and women who annually provide hope, help and a human touch at Marin General Hospital. The scholarships, provided by Marin General Hospital Volunteer Services, will be used to pursue healthcare–related studies and may be applied for by any employee who has worked at least one year and active volunteers who have given one year and 100 hours of service at the facility.

Ms. Monterosso, 18, originally volunteered at Marin General Hospital to fulfill her 100-hour community service commitment for Marin Catholic High School. She picked the hospital because she wants to become a nurse, and thought it would be a good opportunity to learn about her chosen profession. The work was so rewarding that she soon shot past the required commitment and has now volunteered more than 200 hours at the hospital.

“I love what I do here,” says the teen, who is debating whether to attend Dominican University or San Francisco State University this fall. “I sometimes see patients whose families don’t come to visit them, and I’m the only one there to brighten their day. It really impacts me, because I come from a family where people are there for you.”

She says some of her favorite patients are war veterans. “They tell me their stories and I’m so grateful for what they’ve done for our country.”

Kathy Meyer, Marin General HospitalDirector of Volunteer Services, says, “Karen is a wonderful example of why our scholarship program is a winner for everyone involved. These volunteers are outstanding individuals who have proven their potential to make exceptional contributions to the healthcare field. It’s so nice to be able to say ‘thank you’ for all they have done here at the hospital while helping contribute to the education of the next generation of healthcare workers.”

Mrs. Meyer says that the total of $41,500 awarded this year was raised through generous contributions from hospital fundraising branches (the Raccoons and Storks), physicians, and proceeds from the hospital’s retail shops.

The ten high school seniors who were awarded scholarships staff the S.M.I.L.E. Cart –Students Making Illness a Little Easier – visiting with patients, offering their assistance, and handing out an array of complimentary items that fill the cart, from lip balm, hand lotion, playing cards and assorted puzzles to pencils and pens, small spiral notebooks, magazines and mints. It’s a chance to brighten the day of patients who often are struggling through difficult times.

In addition to Ms. Monterosso, other student recipients are: Marina Adrianzen and Christina Sharkey, Tamalpais High School; Hailey Falk, St. Ignatius High School; Kendy Diaz, Marnie Ginis, Brooks Hoehn Jr. and Sophia Hooper, Redwood High School; Mini’imah Cook, Tamiscal High School; and Cecilia Mazariegos, San Rafael High School.

For more information about volunteering at Marin General Hospital, visit www.maringeneral.org/volunteer.