Volunteering is contagious

Ernie and Marie Weiss

Be careful if you start volunteering at Pullman Regional Hospital – it’s contagious.

Marie Weiss started volunteering 8 years ago and her husband started three years later. “It took me a while but I was definitely interested,” said Ernie Weiss, who now volunteers in multiple ways. In addition to working as an on call Patient Support Volunteer who stays with agitated or lonely patients in the hospital and at Avalon Care Center, he works at the Pullman Regional Hospital Information Desk greeting and escorting patients and he just signed on to work at the Free Clinic on Tuesday evenings.

“I volunteer for myself, the hospital and the community,” said Ernie, who retired from WSU’s Facilities Department in 2005 as an architect.

“It helps you keep involved in the community and provides socialization,” said Marie, who retired from WSU Benefit’s Department in 2007. Marie is also a busy volunteer who serves as the treasurer of the WSU Retirees Association, the secretary of the Pullman Regional Hospital Auxiliary, at the Information Desk and as a director on the Pullman Regional Hospital Foundation Board.

“You end up being a great marketer for the hospital and all the great services they provide,” she said.

Ernie and Marie also like the side benefit of occasionally having lunch with their daughter, Nicole, who works as a nurse in BirthPlace.

The Weiss’ both agree that helpful traits to be a good volunteer are patience, being kind, and being a good listener. 

“My role is to make people feel more comfortable,” said Marie about working at the Information Desk. “I tell people when I’m wheeling them that I might need you to do this for me one day.” 

Ernie echoes the belief that giving back to people makes you feel good.

“When you are providing a service and giving back to people, it gives meaning to your life," he said.

If you want to learn more about volunteering at Pullman Regional Hospital, contact the Volunteer Coordinator at 509-336-7391.

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