Taylor Student Volunteer Earns Award
Ridley High School junior and Taylor Hospital volunteer Nicole Falato won $75 for placing second in the competition for the 2009 Student Health Care Hero Award for Delaware County. Nominees for the award are required to have a genuine interest in the field, a commitment to learning and a desire to pursue a career in health care.
Falato has volunteered at Taylor Hospital for three summers, assisting in special projects and administrative tasks for the Volunteer Department – including working at the hospital’s information desk. This past summer, she contributed 104 hours. “I just like the atmosphere and being able to help out others. I like interacting with visitors and patients and helping out the hospital in any way I can,” Falato says.
Falato was nominated for the award by Judy Lieberman, director of Volunteer Services at Taylor. “Nicole’s impact on our organization is multifaceted. She was the first face our guests saw when they came to the hospital, assisting them with their many different requests. She sometimes dealt with guests who were angry and she handled them with grace and dignity, instead of becoming defensive, which I believe is a mature response for a young lady of 17,” Lieberman says.
This past summer, Falato was a student organizer for a leadership learning opportunity offered to Taylor Hospital’s Youth Corps program called “Spark the Wave.” She assisted in the facilitation of the program’s five-day workshops and communicated between the program’s leaders and the Hospital. Falato recalls “Spark the Wave” as her favorite activity at Taylor Hospital this past summer.
“We teamed up with ‘Spark the Wave’ and raised over $1,000 for a Wii system for the rehab center. We had a week to prepare a bake sale and pulled it off. We baked from Monday through Friday. ‘Spark the Wave’ is definitely my most memorable moment at Taylor,” Falato says.
Lieberman also nominated Falato for her ability to handle a crisis. “During a personal crisis, which required me to be frequently absent from my role, Nicole stepped in to help manage the day-to-day operations of the office,” Lieberman says. “She fielded questions, entered information into the volunteer database, and helped manage call-outs and staffing for empty holes in the program schedule. She stepped into this position with poise and a willingness to provide support.”
Falato was presented with her award on November 17 by Delaware County Council and the Delaware County Workforce Investment Board Youth Council. The Health Care Hero Award is part of a state-wide Career in Health Care Awareness Week, which works to dispel the myth that the only job opportunities in health care are that of doctors and nurses.