Saint Francis-Bartlett summer ‘Volunteen’ program expands

Taylor Platt was a Volunteen this summer at Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett, where she learned more about healthcare and evaluated her future interest in patient care. She said it was a great experience and added, “It helps you appreciate all the effort and hard work that they put in to help patients.” Courtesy photo.

This year, Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett expanded its summer “Volunteen” program, which provides opportunities for rising juniors and seniors to gain exposure to the field of healthcare while also giving back through volunteerism at the hospital.

The program is in its second year. Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett volunteer services and community outreach manager, Sharon Fryman, works with guidance counselors among the area’s high schools as well as HOSA programs (Future Health Professionals formerly known as Health Occupations Students of America) in order to promote Volunteen opportunities.

Taylor Platt, Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett Volunteen, spent her summer learning more about healthcare and evaluating her future interests in patient care.

Following a multi-tiered selection process, chosen volunteens must commit to being available to volunteer six weeks out of an eight-week period over the summer in two four-hour shifts per week. One shift each week is spent shadowing a clinician or physician, and the other shift is devoted to volunteer service in the same respective area. The rotation, which affords the students exposure to various departments within the hospital, includes surgery, lab and respiratory, and more.

Volunteens must undergo a physical, including a tuberculosis test, as well as a background check. They begin their rotations after completing an extensive orientation process lasting two and a half days, including customer service training, HIPPA compliance, infectious disease training and more.

According to Fryman, “The program is a win-win for students and the hospital. We are extremely pleased in our second year to have received nearly 30 applications. The program goes a long way toward exposing students to the healthcare industry in a variety of capacities and hopefully building the next generation of our medical professionals.”

Platt said, “Over the course of this summer, I have had a blast working with great people at Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett. Seeing the side of a hospital that the patients don’t usually see gives you a different perspective. It helps you appreciate all the effort and hard work that they put in to help patients. Also, the experience I’ve gotten from volunteering at the hospital has helped me in my decision on what path I want to take in the future.”

Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett, opened in 2004, is a 196-bed full service hospital at 2986 Kate Bond Road in Bartlett. For more information, visit