David West

North York General Hospital (NYGH) sees many patients awaiting surgery in its Pre-operative (Pre-op) Assessment Clinic located at the General site. Each clinic visit is scheduled about one week before surgery which allows patients to complete paperwork, blood tests, anesthesia, and internal medicine consults. Visiting the clinic before surgery means patients can sleep in the comfort of their homes the night before their surgery, rather than having to be admitted to the hospital beforehand.

David, an NYGH volunteer, has prepared information packages to help support patient appointments for more than 13 years. When asked what it was like when he joined the Volunteer Program, David said, “I knew I wanted to volunteer where I could help people. I remember in the beginning I was feeling both excited and nervous. Then I reminded myself that when I was younger and I felt like this, my mom taught me to stay calm and breathe, so that’s what I did. After my first volunteer shift, I could not wait to come back.”

David did not speak until he was five years old, and as an adult he finds it can still be challenging to initiate conversations. Volunteering at NYGH has helped David gain confidence. He really enjoys working with the staff at the clinic and stops by the Volunteer Services office often just to say hello to the team. Known as a reliable volunteer, David has logged more than 3,000 hours at NYGH!

What David likes most about volunteering is that he can start a project at the beginning of his shift, and see it fully completed before he leaves. It’s something David finds rewarding.

“David is an important part of our preoperative team, adding a value that is immeasurable. He exhibits professionalism and great teamwork abilities while assisting our processes by preparing packages and completing operating room lists”, said Rita Nwaulu, Clinical Team Manager. “The support David provides enhances the patient experience and staff satisfaction. We are grateful to have David as a part of our team!”

David, thank you for ensuring people come first in everything you do!