NYGH Spiritual Care has a long-standing partnership with the Jewish Family and Child Services (JFCS). Murray, who volunteers for the Chaplaincy Department at JFCS, began providing Spiritual Care Faith Visits to our Jewish patients more than 5 years ago. “My decision to volunteer came from having spent many months in hospital settings in Montreal, years ago, visiting my late mother during the last year of her life. She was cared for in two different hospitals there, as well as in a rehab facility, and my wife and I spent a lot of time with her at each of those facilities. We grew to really appreciate the support that she received from all the staff, not only the medical personnel but also from personal care workers and support staff,” says Murray.
As we recovered volunteer programming Murray was willing to help in other roles until he could resume visiting patients. At the beginning of the pandemic when Volunteer Services asked volunteers to consider supporting the Seneca Vaccination Clinic, Murray did not think twice. Murray said, “I was happy to flow patients through the long lines. And I really appreciated how well the Seneca Vaccination Clinic was managed.”
In the fall of 2021, Murray joined our Ambassador Program at the General site. He was glad to escort patients and family members to various clinics and departments, doing his best to ensure they got to their appointment on time. Murray shared, “There were many occasions when patients and family members made a special point of thanking me for assisting them. I do not look for that kind of feedback, but it is rewarding to receive it and to know that I am making an impact.”
Recently, Murray has resumed his Spiritual Care visits at the General site. “The personal satisfaction of connecting with patients and being there for them is a strong motivator. I’m never bored, each visit is different, and because I am a curious person, I get the opportunity to learn a lot from people. Even if I had a challenging visit, I don’t’ lose my motivation because of the support I get from the Volunteer Services Department and JFCS. Every patient I see brings so much to me in the way of insight and kindness, as much as I could bring to them. Each patient has a different story, a different outlook, and I always feel enriched by the experience,” says Murray.
Murray, thank you for ensuring that people come first in everything you do!