Published on August 05, 2013

Genesis Seeks Befriender Volunteers 

Do friends come to you with their problems, frustrations, fears and joys? Do people tell you that you are a good listener? Perhaps you would like to utilize your skills as a volunteer Befriender at Genesis Medical Center.

Befrienders are a select community of caregivers who are trained to listen to patient stories and concerns. Hospitalization can be a difficult time with a patient possibly feeling alone, afraid and pondering changes in one’s health and life. A Befriender is there to compassionately listen and provide supportive, spiritual ministry without imposing personal religious beliefs on patients.

Befriender volunteers go through approximately 40 hours of training, emphasizing listening with particular sensitivity to the stories of grief, illness, crisis and life review. When the training is complete, the volunteers may visit patients and their families in the hospital, or work in the Grief Recovery Group.

The Genesis Spiritual Care department has been training Befrienders for 46 years. The program is an integral part of the Genesis vision of treating the whole person, including body, mind and spirit. Referrals for a Befriender visit often come from nurses, doctors and the patients themselves.

There are 31 dedicated Befrienders who serve each week in a care-giving ministry that touches patients in a personal and intimate way.

If you are interested in this type of service, please speak with Patty Tillman, Befriender Program coordinator.

An application, interview, and letter of recommendation are part of the admission process. For more information, please call 563-421-7971.

An informational meeting to further explain the program will be held Thursday, August 15, 3:00 -4:00 p.m. in the lower level of the Genesis Heart Institute, Adler 2 classroom at 1236 East Rusholme Street in Davenport. The Heart Institute is just across the street from the main hospital facility.

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1227 E. Rusholme Street Davenport, IA 52803 563-421-1000