Volunteer Opportunities

Patient and Family Support

Nurses, physicians, and social workers at UPMC CancerCenter treat the person, not just the disease. In this same spirit, volunteers help improve the quality of life for patients and their families by helping nurses and medical assistants with their duties and visiting with patients and their families.

Below are examples of patient and family volunteer opportunities at the Hillman Cancer Center and our network sites including Jefferson, Johnstown, Monroeville, Natrona Heights, New Castle, Uniontown, and Upper St. Clair. (Check back as we onboard additional locations throughout the year.)

 

  • Assisting with patient navigation
  • Delivering lunches/snacks to patients receiving treatment
  • Greeting patients and visitors as they enter Hillman Cancer Center
  • Helping patients in the Gumberg Family Resource Center (Hillman Cancer Center Only)
  • Making courtesy calls to new patients
  • Rounding with our courtesy cart
  • Volunteering alongside staff in a medical setting
  • Preparing new patient packets
  • Providing companionship to patients who are alone
  • Special events

As a volunteer in the area of Patient and Family Support, you can volunteer Monday through Friday during business hours. At this time, evening and weekend opportunities are not available. This program encourages a minimum of four hours of service a week.

Pet Therapy

Volunteer PatientPet therapy helps people cope with health problems, reduce their stress and improve their mood and energy levels while providing a sense of companionship. Here at UPMC CancerCenter, we have a Pet Therapy Program that allows a certified therapy dog to visit with patients and their families in the outpatient clinics. Pet therapy teams are limited to a 2 hour maximum visit.

Opportunities are available at Hillman Cancer Center and Network Sites including Jefferson, Johnstown, Monroeville, Natrona Heights, Uniontown and Upper St. Clair. (Check back as we onboard additional locations throughout the year.)

Healing Power of the Arts

If you are an amateur artist of any kind — a musician, painter, writer, etc. — you can help provide patients with a means for self-expression and diversion. In this program, volunteers play music, create arts and crafts, read poetry, and much more to offer comfort and a creative outlet to patients and families during a difficult time.

Laboratory Research

Volunteer Lab ResearchEach day, researchers at UPCI are taking important steps to increase our understanding of cancer and are testing the newest, most advanced treatments to cure it. Volunteers who have an interest in research and medicine have an opportunity to assist researchers with a variety of tasks. Duties include: tissue and cell culture, gene transfections, solution preparation, ; chromosome karotyping, cell labeling, staining and filing slides, cleaning glassware, glassware autoclaving, imaging analyses, library research, data recording and analyses.

Requirements:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age to participate. For research programs for applications under 18, please visit the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.
  • Must be able to volunteer at least 10 hours, not exceeding 20 hours per week.

We accept applications during the following dates:

  • Spring Semester:
    • Applications accepted: November 15th through November 30th
    • Semester Begins: January 2nd
    • Semester Ends: April 30th
  • Summer Semester:
    • Applications accepted: March 15th through March 30th
    • Semester Begins: May 1st
    • Semester Ends: August 31st
  • Fall Semester:
    • Applications accepted: July 15th through July 30th
    • Semester Begins: September 1st
    • Semester Ends: December 31st

If you are not placed within a lab, please do not submit an application outside of these dates.

If you are placed in a research lab:

  • Complete a UPMC volunteer application form and indicate the name and location of the placed research lab in the "Type of Volunteer Work Preferred" section. If you are not an American citizen, please specify whether you have a permanent resident card or indicate the type of visa you hold in the "Citizenship" section of the application.
  • Once your volunteer application has been received the Volunteer Office will initiate a criminal background check.
  • Once your application and criminal background check have been submitted, you will receive a follow up email from the Volunteer Office.

If you would like to be placed in a research lab:

  • Complete a UPMC volunteer application form. If you are not an American citizen, please specify whether you have a permanent resident card or indicate the type of visa you hold in the "Citizenship" section of the application.
  • Once your volunteer application has been received the Volunteer Office will initiate a criminal background check.
  • Complete and submit the lab placement profile and attach your resume.
  • Once your application, criminal background, lab profile, and resume are submitted, a representative from the Volunteer Office will contact you with the next steps in the application process. Please wait one to two business days for follow-up.