NANTICOKE HEALTH SERVICES VOLUNTEERS DELIVERING SMILES ONE COOKIE AT A TIME
Yohko Doran has been a volunteer at Nanticoke Health Services for 12 years and has been involved in many projects. These days, Yohko is volunteering to bring some of the “comforts of home” to moms-to-be in the Mother and Baby Care Center at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital. What is she doing? She’s baking cookies.
According to Jean Baldwin, Director of Volunteer Services, the idea to bake cookies came from a national conference focusing on things that increased a patient’s level of comfort while in the hospital. One of the topics was the use of aromatherapy. “Some hospitals were popping popcorn, some were baking cookies. It immediately made sense to me,” said Ms. Baldwin. “Sometimes it’s the simple things that bring us the most comfort.”
“When Jean brought the idea to me, I was thrilled,” said Nancy Oyerly. “On the Mother and Baby Care unit, most of our patients aren’t sick. Having a way to give them a treat and feel more at home was a perfect fit.” So, since the spring, four days a week, a volunteer reports for cookie duty. Volunteer bakers include Yohko along with Pat Tifft and Stacie McLaughlin.
The volunteers pick up the cookie dough and patient list from food services. Cookies are baked in a small oven found right on the patient care unit. Once the cookie dough, usually chocolate chip, goes into the oven it doesn’t take long for the smell to fill the unit. When the cookies are ready, the volunteer delivers a cookie to each patient on the list. And, patients get a cookie to share with family or friends that might be visiting. “It has met with such positive feedback that we quickly expanded to baking cookies on the short-stay Pediatrics unit for patients who don’t have diet restrictions,” said Ms. Oyerly.
Before Yohko Doran was a volunteer at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, she worked as the Director of Corporate Sales and Marketing at Tiffany and Co. in New York City. Yohko, who was very sick as a child, says she volunteers because, “I decided a long time ago, when I grow up and have time, I will give back in honor of the doctors and nurses who were so nice to me when I was in and out of the hospital as a child.” She bakes cookies because it makes her feel good and it is a nice thing to do for the patients. When delivering the cookies to the patients, she is greeted with a lot of smiles from adults and children alike. The patients are happy to see her and she is glad to be helping them in any way and making their day brighter.