Volunteer to Help

Patient Care Volunteers

At Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven, volunteers are a vital element of the care that the patient will receive, providing information, hospitality and support through a variety of programs.  Volunteers need not have personal experience with cancer but more importantly a desire to help individuals who do. For more information about the following opportunities please contact the Yale-New Haven Hospital Volunteer Services office at (203) 688-2297.

  • Navigator volunteers help “navigate” the new patient and their family on their first appointment day. Greeting, providing information, answering questions and serving as a liaison between the patient and the physician team. 
  • Patient Aide volunteers provide support to patients receiving treatment and their families.  They assist the treatment center staff in providing hospitality, conversation, and a warm, caring environment.
  • Ambassadors assist individuals as they arrive and depart, providing directions and escorting patients and visitors as needed throughout the facility.
  • Reiki volunteers are certified Reiki practitioners who provide a gentle, hands-on energy healing technique to patients.

Pat: Thymoma Cancer Survivor

Pat Scalifani

After feeling poorly for several weeks during the spring of 2006, I went to see my doctor. She listened to my breathing and said, “Pat something does not sound right.” Over the next five months I had several tests, biopsies, and scans done at a healthcare facility in my area, and initially received a diagnosis of lymphoma. They then thought it might be a virus, and a few months later, testicular cancer. Finally, after further tissue study I received the correct diagnosis of stage IV thymoma. My first thought was, “What is this thing?”