Volunteer Reflections

Employee participants talk about their experiences in the Volunteer Time Off Program and its value to the community.

Michelle Ludwig, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor, Radiation Oncology

I am on the board of directors for the South Central Region of Canine Companions for Independence- Baylor Scott & White Health – Kinkeade Campus. CCI is a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships. 

At the South Central Region in Dallas, they just started a veterans initiative to provide service dogs for veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. They have graduations four times per year after the dogs and candidates are matched and complete a two week class together called "Team Training." This picture is of Marguerite, my CCI hearing service dog.

Zeeba Kayani, Senior Sponsored Programs Analyst, Pediatrics - Research Resources

I selected to provide my time to the 2018 Holiday Pratham USA Luncheon hosted at Junior League of Houston. My responsibility centered on welcoming our primary donors, while being the lead organizer during the SAKS Fifth Avenue fashion Show backstage (i.e. dressing the models, collection line up, hair and makeup, etc.)

My gravitation to Pratham USAis centered on their sole mission that every child has the right to a quality education. Pratham USA is one of India’s most successful non-governmental education organizations having affected the lives of more than 58 million underprivileged children. 

I am proud to work for an organization like Baylor, which not only supports, but also encourages me to find meaning and reward by serving others.

Robert McLaughlin, Ph.D., Dean for the School of Health Professions

On my most recent VTO day, I volunteered to register and orient campers at Gender Infinity Camp. Among its services, Gender Infinityprovides safe spaces for transgender, non-binary, and questioning children and youth and their families.

One such service is a full sleep-away camp experience, where youth and families can express themselves authentically and without judgement in a safe, affirming environment while canoeing, doing arts and crafts, zip lining, and more.

It is exhilarating to see these youth blossom into their voice and power with challenge-by-choice activities in a natural environment, sometimes meeting for the first time other children and families on similar paths of discovery and adjustment.

Stephanie Landry, Payment Operations Specialist, Patient Business Services

I recently volunteered with the Harris County Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program,which helps resolve conflicts with elderly care residents. This program emphasizes the importance of caring for others because one day you will need to be cared for.

I cannot stress enough how important the VTO program is. It truly shows Baylor giving back to the community.

Chimsom Oleka, M.D., Assistant Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology

In October 2018, I had the amazing opportunity to partner with the African Women’s Cancer Awareness Associationto provide Clinical Gynecologic Care to the women of Ogwashi-Uku, Delta State, Nigeria.

The AWCAA is a nonprofit organization, established in 2004 by a coalition of African immigrant women health professionals in order to address disparities in awareness, prevention and access to healthcare for African immigrant and descent communities that face cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

It was truly a refreshing and restorative mission in which the people of Ogwashi-Uku, Delta State truly captured my heart. I cried with the women. I laughed with the women. We shared together and we grew together, in knowledge, culture and in strength.

Mitchell Coffman, Director of FGP Physician Compensation, Business Support Services

I volunteered for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeoon the Horse Show Committee. Our committee provides the necessary manpower and support to build out the arena equipment and maintain the footing for the horse show events.

Without volunteer support, HLSR wouldn't be able to donate millions of dollars back to the community through educational scholarships or generate the hundreds of millions in economic activity for the Houston area.

I am proud to be a part of an organization that values the community and supports its employees by providing time off to devote to service activities.

Serpil Tutan, Assistant Director, Pediatrics - Research Resources

I coordinated the raffle for the Turkish Festivalduring November 2018. It was hard work, but a lot of fun for volunteers as well as our guests. I volunteer to give back to the American Turkish community and set an example for my children.