When Tami Clark was a teenager growing up in Springfield, her family attended St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. During her catechism class, her pastor said that the church was going to build a nursing home. He told them that some of them would work there someday.
“I will always remember saying to myself that I would never work in a nursing home,” said Tami, volunteer coordinator for Ohio’s Community Mercy Hospice, who recently celebrated her 35th anniversary with the not-for-profit hospice organization. “My pastor knew something I didn’t, as that was the beginning of my career in health care.”
The nursing home, Mercy St. John’s Center, was built at 100 W. McCreight Ave., the same building where she started her first job as a licensed social worker in 1984. And today, Ohio’s Community Mercy Hospice is located in that building.
Tami coordinates the volunteers at Ohio’s Community Mercy Hospice. With support from co-workers in Dayton, she helps the volunteers with the application process, including background checks, training and ongoing education. She supports the clinical staff when requests come in for volunteers to visit with patients where they reside, in their home or other facility to be a companion and comforting presence. She also connects pet therapy teams and coordinates music at the bedside for patients.
Volunteers deliver balloon baskets to patients celebrating a special event. Other volunteers make crafts for patients. In addition, Veteran volunteers recognize and honor Veteran patients with a pinning recognition thanking them for their service to our country. Tami also manages the many hours of support the volunteers give to the office and inpatient units.
“I am honored to walk alongside some amazing gifted and giving volunteers who serve others in need,” Tami said. “I get to watch them make a difference each day in the lives of others and in their own lives as they support our patients, families, our community, our staff and me.”