Funded and coordinated by Providence Seaside Hospital (PSH), Community Connections is a group of programs that connects community members in need with local resources to improve their well-being. We focus on identifying the needs of the vulnerable and finding ways to meet them.
For some, transportation can be an insurmountable barrier to health and well-being. Community Connects seeks to reduce or eliminate this barrier. Our primary focus is on medical appointments. Whether our clients need transportation locally or even to Portland, we find the appropriate resources to get them there. We also provide need-based local trips, such as going to the food bank, library, classes, the bank and more.
Volunteers are an integral part of our ability to provide these much-needed transportation services. Volunteer shifts vary, as they’re based on the clients’ needs. Trips are scheduled a week in advance, and you can volunteer for as many or as few trips as you like. Volunteers use their own vehicle and insurance, and we reimburse for mileage.
Oral health for adults and children
Providence does not have dental offices, but we recognize the link between oral health and overall wellness. Volunteer Services runs two oral health programs, the Dental Van and the Children’s Dental Initiative, to support proper oral health habits in youth, as well as address emergent dental situations in adults.
Providence has been partnering with Medical Teams International to bring a Dental Van to Seaside since 1999. Volunteer Services schedules uninsured adults with emergent dental problems four visits a year. We fill cavities, extract broken or abscessed teeth and treat infections – at no cost. If a patient is working toward getting dentures, we can help extract teeth in preparation to see a denturist.
Partially grant-funded through the Oregon Community Foundation, the Children’s Dental Initiative launched in 2016. The Oral Health Coordinator acts as an advocate for young students in Clatsop County’s public school districts, helping parents navigate the often complicated oral health system. The goals of the program are to ensure that:
- Children are established in a dental home
- Children receive screenings and treatments as needed
- Any barriers to oral health are overcome
Volunteers help in our Oral Health division of Community Connections by staffing registration tables for the Dental Van and for Children’s Oral Health events, checking patients in and managing daily schedules. It’s a low-stress volunteer commitment that provides direct contact with the population we serve, which can be a very fun and rewarding experience.
Providence Seaside Hospital Gift Shop
Located in the main lobby at PSH, the Gift Shop raises funds for the PSH Foundation. The Volunteer Coordinator manages the shop, which is fully staffed by hospital volunteers who work three- to four-hour shifts. Duties include ringing up customers, pricing new merchandise, maintaining seasonal displays and restocking merchandise. Shifts can range from once a month to several times a week, based on the volunteer’s schedule.
Interested in seeing what a day in the life is like for our caregivers (Providence employees)? Volunteer Services facilitates job shadows that allow volunteers to observe one shift up to eight hours, once a year. Departments that typically accept job shadows are:
- Rehabilitation/Physical Therapy
- Diagnostic Imaging
- Facilities and Maintenance
- Environmental Services
Opportunities for students
PSH Volunteer Services offers mentorship and internship opportunities through various community programs. The development of career skills and experience is invaluable to our youth. We’re committed to partnering with volunteers of all ages, meeting their needs as well as supporting our programs with their hard work and enthusiasm.
Seaside High School Pacifica Projects
Seniors at Seaside High School are expected to serve 50 hours of community service to meet graduation requirements, and PSH is a popular organization. Students with specific interests can be placed in individual programs or events, such as working with the PSH Foundation to help with the Festival of Trees fundraiser or working with the Dental Van. Students also can volunteer in other departments, such as Emilie’s Café, the Gift Shop, Information Services, Facilities, Marketing and others.
Tongue Point Job Corps Work-Based Learning
PSH is a partner for TPJC’s Work-Based Learning program, which places interns in our hospital to help students develop skills that are specific to their future career. Interns come to us straight from the classroom, with fresh ideas and knowledge but with little professional experience. Our caregivers provide mentorship, refine skill sets, teach teamwork and develop interns into polished professionals. Because of their training, many students eventually work for a Providence facility in the department where they interned.
Pet therapy (Angel on a Leash program) – coming soon!
We are in the process of developing a Pet Therapy program at PSH to bring trained canines into our units and put a smile on our patients’ faces! If you are interested in joining our program with your furry friend, please contact the volunteer coordinator 503-717-7174 for more info.