St. Michael’s Titanium Club – membership has its privileges
Toronto, September 18, 2014
By Greg Winson
Dan Har Li makes her rounds on the Medical Daycare Unit. (Photo by Liam Sharp)
Organizations from hotel chains to Starbucks have a gold or platinum level membership. When volunteers at St. Michael’s reach 2,500 hours of service, they automatically become members of the Titanium Club.
“These people have been significant contributors to St. Michael’s for some time,” said Michael Kidd, director of Volunteer Services. With most volunteer shifts averaging three to four hours, it takes more than 600 shifts to make the 2,500-hour milestone.
The Titanium Club differs from previous recognition programs by honoring hours of service as opposed to years at St. Michael’s. It also honors all volunteers who have reached the 2,500-hour milestone, including those who are retired from volunteering. “It’s become a bit of an alumni club,” said Kidd.
The volunteers appreciate the sense of community at St. Michael’s.
Dan Har Li, a volunteer in the Medical Daycare Unit, said she enjoys the day-to-day contact with patients.
“It’s like family, especially when you get to know them,” said Li. She often experiences the highs and lows along with her patients. “I celebrate when patients tell me they won’t be back for another year,” she said.
Li was encouraged to volunteer by her goddaughter, who was a nurse at St. Michael’s. She has been a volunteer for 12 years, and joined the Titanium Club last year.
John Metcalfe has been a regular volunteer in the gift shop, racking up the 2,500 hours to become a Titanium Club member in just five years. After working at Sears Canada for 35 years, the retail environment was a natural fit for him. “I work with a great bunch of people, and it gives me a bit of exercise.”
Like Li, Metcalfe understands the important role volunteers can play in overall patient experience. “Volunteers are a main contact with the patients quite often, and (the support) means a lot to them,” he said.
Did you know:
There are 46 members of the Titanium Club.
Metcalfe recalled one statutory holiday when he helped a woman find a friend in the hospital who had been in a serious car accident.
“She was sitting in a chair just outside the gift shop,” said Metcalfe. “Her English wasn’t very good, so I brought her into the gift shop and she wrote her friend’s name down on a piece of paper, and I called the patient inquiry line for her.”
As a former patient of St. Michael’s, he also sees volunteering as a way to give back to the nurses who cared for him in the past. “If one nurse needs a can of pop on a stat holiday, I’ll be there to open the [gift shop] door for them.”
The fourth annual Titanium club luncheon will be held on Sept. 23. This year’s luncheon will include a tour of the Allan Waters Family Simulation Centre.
Titanium Club members
The 46 St. Michael's Hospital volunteers who reached the 2,500-hour milestone.
Sister Teresa Garvey
Dan Har Li
Mary Joy Sloan
About St. Michael's Hospital
St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in 27 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, care of the homeless and global health are among the hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael's Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.