|Andrea Adams, Queens Hospital Center
Andrea Adams knows the enriching experience hospital volunteering brings, whether it’s championing patients’ rights, imparting words of spiritual hope or serving as an interpreter. That’s why the 22-year Queens Hospital Center veteran - named the hospital's 2006 Employee of the Year - today serves as Director of Volunteer Services, molding the minds of high school students, retirees and others who volunteer at HHC facilities.
Adams manages more than 170 advocacy, foster grandparent and counseling volunteers and has trained upwards of 600 volunteers a year - most intermediate and high school students.
“One of the greatest joys in my day is to help someone who really appreciates the opportunity to develop new skills,” said Adams. “Volunteering gives people such a lift, they often gain a new lease on life.”
Adams spearheaded the student volunteer program at the Gateway to Health Sciences Secondary School at Queens Hospital. The program, created for students to fulfill community service requirements, allows them to learn about various healthcare occupations. Adams also collaborates with community groups to expand the number of volunteers and supports fundraising events as the hospital’s Auxiliary Liaison.
“Andrea goes far beyond what's usually expected in this job. She gives our volunteers a chance to really enhance their skills during their volunteer service,” said Gertie Stinney-Brown, Director of Social Work Services.
In the spirit of true volunteerism, Adams gives much of her time to the duties associated with recruiting and managing volunteers. She is an advocate for sexual assault and domestic violence survivors and educates others about breast cancer awareness and HIV/AIDS transmission prevention.
This generous spirit of public service seems to come naturally in Adams' family. Her daughter served eight years in the US Navy and her brother is a 30-year Navy veteran. Her husband retired after many years of service at the NYC Parks & Recreation Department. After work she enjoys ballroom dancing and salsa and keeps in shape with an occasional class in belly dancing.
“I can't imagine any other job that would bring me more opportunities to do so many different things,” said Adams. “Each day I'm eager to come to work and ready to do what’s necessary in any way I'm called upon.”
More than 8,000 New Yorkers volunteer over 1 million hours each year in HHC hospitals, medical centers and nursing homes. Visit nyc.gov/hhc to learn more about volunteering at HHC facilities.