St. Vincent’s Medical Center Honors Volunteers of the Year

August 22, 2016

BRIDGEPORT, Connecticut – St. Vincent’s Medical Center honored its 2016 Volunteers of the Year including Bridgeport resident Laura Durkin and Branford resident Brian D. Sager. More than 150 of the hospital’s dedicated volunteers attended the annual Recognition Reception, marking service anniversaries ranging from 100 to 10,000 hours. In total, 300 volunteers donated more than 46,000 hours during the past year and have served the Medical Center well in many departments. 

“Our volunteers are truly the heart and soul of our hospital,” explained Volunteer Services Director Julie Lawrence. “They enhance the patients’ experience, support our staff, and lead by example by demonstrating service to others.”

About this year’s award recipients:

Laura Durkin
When Laura Durkin moved to Connecticut from Brooklyn, New York, five years ago, she immediately missed the bustling city environment and looked for an opportunity to connect with more people. Fortunately for St. Vincent’s, Laura applied to be a volunteer, and since then has been bringing smiles to patients and families. She also has never missed a SWIM Across the Sound event and lends her talents to several departments, including the St. Vincent’s Medical Center Foundation, information desk, Mission Services, and Pastoral Care. She also serves as a Eucharistic minister. 

“I need a lot of people around me and I empathize with the patients who are looking to talk to someone and who need to be comforted,” stated Durkin. “St. Vincent’s is such a welcoming place. The staff and volunteers are friendly and I always look for ways we can work together in order to help patients and families.”

“Laura is a model for Volunteer Services behavior. She raises her hand to fill in where we need her, and wherever she is―front desk, SWIM events, Foundation, or patient areas―she is making people smile!” shared Lawrence. 

Brian D. Sager
A Stanford University graduate and minor league baseball pitcher isn’t who immediately comes to mind when you think about a nursing student. However, Brian Sager is just that, and he’s pursuing his calling to be an RN at St. Vincent’s College. Brian has served as president of the College’s chapter of the Student Nursing Association and has been a very active volunteer, first with the annual SWIM Across the Sound Marathon and then at St. Vincent’s Special Needs Services. Brian was introduced to St. Vincent’s Special Needs by its Director of Nursing Christine Longden, and has since volunteered for the annual Easter Egg Hunt, FEROLETO Day, the Special Needs School Prom, the Elizabeth M. Pfriem Circus, and much more. 

“The students and staff at Special Needs are amazing people,” said Sager. “It’s my philosophy to jump right in and help out when I can. I would encourage anyone to volunteer there.”

“Brian is an all-star to the students,” offered Lawrence. “He is compassionate and caring and has stepped up to coordinate fellow nursing students to volunteer with him to support our children with special health care needs.”

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