This week, April 15-21, Provision will celebrate Volunteer Appreciation Week by honoring our very own Proton Volunteer, Mrs. Sue. Sue and her husband retired to Knoxville from Washington, DC in 2001. She has been a volunteer for Provision CARES Proton Therapy Knoxville since 2016 and has been filling the proton center with extra joy and smiles ever since.
Provision CARES Proton Therapy embraces a different atmosphere than most cancer treatment facilities. What makes Provision different is the “Culture of Care.” Provision has embraced a Culture of Care that extends beyond service and establishes a new standard of excellence for patient care. The Culture of Care philosophy is about “respecting the dignity & value of every person” and has embraced an environment of compassion, sensitivity, and thoughtful consideration. At Provision CARES Proton Therapy Center, an emphasis on value and respect for patients, caregivers and families is a main focus for the entire team, including our volunteers.
In 2015, Sue’s husband received a “gift of life” from the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida through the procedure of a liver transplant. After her husband was discharged from his procedure and on their way home, Sue decided she wanted to find a way to give back to the community to, in some way, repay for her and her husband’s many blessings and life changing procedure. As she began her search for volunteer opportunities, she came across a Provision proton therapy television commercial. Because of the life changing technology proton therapy offers, she immediately knew it was the right place for her to start her volunteer work.
“Volunteering at the proton center means giving back and having a listening ear whenever someone needs it. Most of all, it makes me feel good that I’m able to give back for the many blessings I’ve been given”
Most of the time, you will find Sue mingling in the lobby at the proton center on Wednesdays. She chooses this day because the social environment of the patient chat and patient luncheon. Wednesdays are a good opportunity to meet and get to know patients. Sue says her favorite thing about being a volunteer for the proton center is meeting all the patients and listening to their stories. “We build relationships and they allow me to travel through their treatment journey with them,” Sue says. “It’s an uplifting experience to know that a smile can make someone’s day better.” Sue has built lasting friendships with some of the proton therapy patients and continues to communicate with patients and family members after their proton therapy treatment is complete.
“You’d think that a cancer treatment center would be a sad place, but it is definitely not sad at Provision. Everyone is so welcoming, and the staff is committed to making sure each patient has a great experience.”