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6000 and 17 Million, 10 Years After the Launch of “Guangji Ark” Volunteer Group

Author: LI JING | Reviewer: LI JING | Editor: LI JING | Source: COMPREHENSIVE SERVICE CENTER, DUSHIKUAIBAO | Date:2021-07-09 | Views:

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April 19 2011, "Guangji Ark", the first medical volunteer group in Zhejiang province, was jointly established by SAHZU, "DUSHIKUAIBAO (City News Agency)" and Huadong Medicine. Since then, volunteer service has become an indispensable part of the hospital system. Volunteers are important in the ecosystem of SAHZU, not only because they work at the very first line of services, helping patients with all sorts of problems, also because they bring their quality services to every corner of the hospital, silently but profoundly influencing the hospital staff and the hospital culture. In them, we can catch a glimpse of perfect combination of humanity and medical science.

After ten years'development, the "Guangji Ark" now has 6000 registered volunteers, with an average age of 60, on 22 kinds of jobs. Every day, raining or snowing, as long as the outpatient clinic is open, Guangji volunteers are always serving at wherever they are most needed. Despite their age and occupation, all of them adapt themselves to the digital age, and become experts of the self-service kiosks and other quickly developing smart devices around the hospital, in order to help more patients, especially senior patients.

The "Guangji Ark" has served nearly 17 million patients. About 300 to 450 patients used their services every four hours for help with directions, wheelchair rental, report printing, etc.

HAN Tianlin could be an epitome of the volunteers of the "Guangji Ark". He joined the Ark in 2011, and became a volunteer for bone marrow transplant in 2012. His job is to travel across the entire country to collect bone marrow for patients who have found themselves matched donors. To reduce the economic burden of the patients, volunteers would usually only request a reimbursement of the air tickets and cover the rest of travel expenses themselves.

Volunteers for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and stoma care, however, are mainly people living with this the disease or condition or their family members. Because of similar experience, they could easily echo with the patients and provide psychological or medication instructions from patients’ perspective. Whenever they see patients distressed about the bitter future of living with an ostomy bag on the stomach, volunteers would lift up their shirts and say: "Look, I have one too!" Patients will then feel greatly released to know that they are not alone.

According to YE Xiaoyun, Chair of SAHZU Comprehensive Service Center, in the past ten years, 6 volunteers have worked for 5000 hours with the "Guangji Ark". 19 worked for 3000 hours. 52 volunteers joined the Ark in 2011 and continue to work till now. 113 worked for more than 5 years.