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Staff Report
Published: 6/29/2020 9:06:07 PM
Modified: 6/29/2020 9:06:03 PM

LEBANON — Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center has begun welcoming some volunteers back to its Lebanon campus with precautions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

DHMC is seeking to find volunteers to help in a new role of assisting patients with virtual visits, as well as escorting patients who need assistance to get to their appointments, according to a Monday email to DHMC volunteers from Kristin Roth, the director of volunteer services, and Marcy Sanborn, the volunteer supervisor for DHMC and the Heater Road clinic. Other volunteers will help with entertainment and gift shop buying.

Virtual visit volunteers will work with DHMC staff to identify patients who need a virtual visit. Volunteers then will coordinate the visit using iPads provided by DHMC or patients’ own devices.

Patient escort volunteers greet those entering DHMC and work with door screeners, information desk staff and security to identify people who might need assistance in getting to their appointment, either by helping them to sign out scooters or by escorting them in a wheelchair.

Volunteers returning to serve will complete an online reorientation training session, read and sign a revised service description for their role, and be trained in infection control measures and personal protective equipment.

As businesses across New Hampshire are reopening, the D-H health system announced last week that it canceled all in-person fundraisers for the rest of the year in order to prevent transmission of COVID-19.

“We take our responsibility seriously as a provider of health care to avoid activities that could in any way facilitate the spread of disease by potentially bringing asymptomatic carriers together with others, some of whom could likely be health-comprised individuals,” D-H said in a notice posted to its website on Friday.

The health system is looking for ways to make up for lost revenue to support its services, especially patient and family services and research conducted by Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock and the Friends of Norris Cotton Cancer Center, the web post said.

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