Twenty-five New York State senators sent a letter to CEOs and chief administrators of hospitals in the state associated with& Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) and Greater New York Hospitals Association (GNYHA), asking that they create a Compassionate Helper Volunteer Program to connect families with their loved ones while they are hospitalized.
“These programs will identify individuals who can aid in non-medical, quality-of-life activities to ease a patient’s and their family’s fear due to separation. These volunteers can also assist in strengthening cultural competency and overcoming language barriers between the patient and staff. The presence of these individuals would provide some much-needed relief to our overwhelmed hospital staff,” the senators wrote.
The senators noted that Compassionate Helpers would require personal protection equipment and training, and would follow any volunteer protocols already in place to maintain patient, staff, and volunteer health and safety.
“We believe that such program will give peace of mind to patients and their families, as well as help lessen the strain on our frontline healthcare workers,” they added.
The letter was signed by Senator David Carlucci (38th Senate District) and Senator Brian Kavanagh (26th Senate District), and co-signed by nearly two dozen other senators.