Volunteer Spotlight: John Brooks

by Kelsey DeClue | Jul 16, 2021

Joel Philippsen/CRH
Volunteers John Brooks and Rebecca Ives
John Brooks is a self-described “people person.” That has made volunteering at the greeter stations at Columbus Regional Hospital a great fit.

He has volunteered at Columbus Regional Hospital for just over three years, and early on as a volunteer he was recognized for his dedication and work as “Rookie Volunteer of the Year.” Brooks also volunteers in the Endoscopy Center, in addition to the greeter stations. He enjoys both areas. With patients and visitors frequently coming to the Hospital, it allows him to engage with people, which he really enjoys.

“I like people and helping people, so this is ideal to me,” he said. Brooks wants people to feel welcome when they enter the Hospital. “The number one goal for me is hospitality – making them feel welcome.”

07152021_johnbrooks_jp-5117After that, he helps with wayfinding to make sure patients and visitors get to the place where they need to go without making unnecessary stops. As a greeter, Brooks welcomes patients and visitors and makes sure they are wearing a mask, or gives them one if they need it. He asks for any COVID or illness symptoms and if they have been around anyone who has had symptoms in the last 14 days. More recently, with flower and balloon deliveries resuming in the Hospital, he takes those to patients and staff. Brooks likes making a positive difference in a person’s day. He and another volunteer greeter were recently given a card by someone who came to the hospital. She thanked them.

“That says it all for me. That’s why I volunteer,” said Brooks.

Volunteer Services Director Rebekah Walsh said this gratitude from patients and visitors is frequently expressed. “We’re getting positive feedback every day about how friendly and welcoming the volunteers are.”

The greeter station is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Volunteers serve as greeters in two four-hour shifts. There is a need for more greeters like John Brooks, and he feels that it is important to have the greeter stations to make patients and visitors feel welcome. More than 40 volunteers have joined CRH in 2021, and they have been assigned to the greeter stations and to other areas. However, there is still a need for volunteers at the greeter stations.

“We have recognized that the greeter position is the first touchpoint for visitors and patients coming into CRH and what a key role it is, and we’re honored to be asked to do this,” Walsh said.

Walsh encourages individuals who enjoy customer service and engaging with people to apply to be a volunteer at: www.crh.org/volunteer. Walsh recognizes the great team of volunteers at CRH for their dedication and commitment to supporting our patients, visitors, and staff.

“We have a lot of fabulous volunteers who are dedicated and pitch in consistently, and John Brooks is one of them,” she said.

John Brooks has had a long connection with the hospital, full of positive experiences. His daughter Sarah Ballman is nurse manager on 3T and 6T. His late wife, Pam Brooks, also worked many years at the hospital. He wants everyone who comes to the hospital to have those same positive experiences he has had. “I can do that as a volunteer,” he said.

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