New Volunteer Services leader aims to meet patient, staff needsPublished on Tuesday, January 3, 2023By: Ruth CumminsPhotos By: Jay Ferchaud/ UMMC CommunicationsWhat do hospital volunteers and registered nurses at the University of Mississippi Medical Center have in common?That would be Brittany Mack, a former nurse manager and nurse educator who has pivoted into a new calling: manager of Volunteer Services in the UMMC Office of Patient Experience.“The Volunteer Services manager’s role was one of my dream jobs, and it’s very closely linked with nursing,” said Mack, who got started on her nursing career through an externship with Children’s of Mississippi and employment as a student nurse technician.After completing nursing school, Mack began work in 2013 as an RN at the Medical Center, serving as a floor nurse, nurse manager and nurse educator. “I helped to open 2 West and 6 West and serving as nurse manager,” she said, before leaving the Medical Center in November 2021.She returned in June 2022 after that short hiatus. “I had a special needs baby in February. He spent 70 days in the NICU,” Mack said. “I really missed working at UMMC, and how kind everyone is. I got a call from Talent Acquisition and I applied, and I love it!”Her nursing background gives her insight into UMMC’s volunteer needs. “I have a better idea of where volunteers are needed and where they are the most beneficial. I have ideas of what volunteers can and can’t do in certain areas,” Mack said. “Nursing recruitment was a big thing for me, and now I can transfer those skills into recruiting volunteers.”Skye Stoker“Brittany needs no introduction to the hospitals because she has worked tirelessly in inpatient clinical bedside and leadership roles for more than a decade,” said Skye Stoker, director of the Office of Patient Experience. “We are so fortunate to have her in this broader community engagement position.“Because she is a nurse, an educator and a humanitarian, she really understands how to match the service desires of our volunteer community with the patient, family, and staff needs of our clinical spaces. She has been tirelessly devoted to fully opening back up the volunteer office to staff and volunteers and is steadily recruiting new volunteers and launching new programs to serve the needs of the hospitals.”Medical Center volunteers play an important role in helping to provide quality, compassionate care to patients. They make a commitment to serve once a week for three hours for a minimum of three consecutive months. Prospective volunteers are strongly encouraged to consider the time commitment, consistency and dedication necessary to make the volunteer experience beneficial to themselves and to patients.“We’re looking for someone who is dependable and comes in with a smile on their face,” Mack said. “We need volunteers who aren’t afraid to ask for help or to approach someone who needs help. We want volunteers who are friendly and outgoing.”Volunteers might do something as simple as answering phones or chatting with patients, Mack said. “We fill a lot of needs that patients and staff can’t get done elsewhere,” she said. “We deliver clothes and snacks, we accept donations, and our volunteers serve in areas throughout all of our hospitals.”Mack is pictured with her husband, Myer, and their son John Hart.Since coming on board, Mack has reinstated the practice of volunteers rocking babies in the NICU, and she helped reopen child life activity rooms in Batson Tower. “We started a book cart that we take around to the adult and children’s floors,” she said.In a short period of time, Mack “has rejuvenated our greeter and wayfinding programs, educated inpatient teams on the resources available for patient needs, and so much more,” Stoker said. “Brittany is resilient, efficient, extremely outgoing and infectiously upbeat, and she is such a talented leader and a great fit for our extended OPE services in Volunteer Services.”Mack and husband Myer are about to celebrate two years of marriage. Son John Hart is nine months old, and he counts the family’s three Doodles – Ollie, Cooper and Fynn - among his best friends.To volunteer at the Medical Center, complete and submit an application here.