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Volunteer Spotlight



LOCATION: 3100 E Fletcher Ave., Tampa. 972-7286.

A BRIEF HISTORY: The volunteers began in July 1968 under the direction of Grace Allen, the wife of the then-president of the University of South Florida. The auxiliary started small, with 15 to 20 volunteers. Allen would visit groups to talk to them about becoming volunteers in the new hospital on Fletcher Avenue. Last year there were 11 volunteers who have been working for 25 years and seven who have worked since the hospital opened.

WHAT THE AGENCY DOES: Volunteers support the physicians and hospital administrative staff in fulfilling the hospital's mission of providing high-quality, personalized and compassionate care to patients and the community.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Helene Golabek, 60, has been the director of volunteer services for almost two years and on the hospital's staff for 18. She established the senior care program in 1987. Golabek earned her nursing degree at St. Mary's Hospital in Passaic, N.J., and her bachelor's degree in health education at State College in Jersey City, N.J. She has a master's degree in gerontology from the University of South Florida. Her annual salary is $50,000.

WHERE THE MONEY GOES: The program receives $100,000 from University Community Hospital, which is spent on eight employees, supplies, travel expenses and volunteer recognition dinners and gifts.

WHAT THE VOLUNTEERS DO: They work in the gift shop, at the information desk, in the patient service center, in the lobby as a host or hostess, in waiting rooms, in laboratories, in the emergency room, with the pediatrics unit. They also drive the tram and deliver flowers.

ONE VOLUNTEER: Gertrude Patton, 80, has been a volunteer for two years. "I love coming here and volunteering," Patton said. "I love the people who are here and enjoy working with them."