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Volunteer Locations & Program Information

Columbia University Irving Medical Center

NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center, a 700-bed facility located right off the George Washington Bridge, is one of the leading academic medical centers in the world, comprising the teaching hospital NewYork-Presbyterian and its academic partner, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. The hospital provides state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine, and is committed to excellence in patient care, research, education and community service.

Volunteer Opportunities

Patient Services Administration (PSA) Volunteer Program

Volunteers assist the PSA Representative to enhance the quality of care for patients. This partnership helps with providing high quality, safe, consistent and compassionate care.  Instills confidence by creating connections and meeting our patients’ individual needs.
Responsibilities include using innovative technology to survey patients at bedside to obtain feedback in real time.  Ideal candidates should be compassionate, empathic, and tech savvy.

Must be 18 years of age or older
Available daily 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Emergency Department (ED)

Volunteers add a personal dimension by providing emotional support to the patients and their families in the waiting area. They provide genuine concern and compassion, and improve the quality of care by assisting the staff as needed in the delivery of care. Volunteers have a significant impact on the patient’s perception of the ED and hospital experience through the use of excellent communication and problem solving skills that can change what might otherwise be perceived as an impersonal environment, to one of empathy and consideration.

Must be 18 years of age and older
Available daily 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (CPEP)

The Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (CPEP) is the psychiatric emergency program located within the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Irving Medical Center Adult Emergency Department. The CPEP volunteer program was initiated in order to increase the general mental well-being of patients in the CPEP. The focus of the program is to provide interaction and engagement to patients, such as participating in diversional recreational activities with patients and providing support to groups facilitated by CPEP clinical staff members, utilizing volunteers who are interested in obtaining experience caring for individuals with emergency psychiatric concerns. The primary goals of this program are creating a more therapeutic milieu, decreasing agitation and boredom, as well as improving patient satisfaction and outcomes.

Applicants must have an interest in the mental health field (Recreation therapy, Occupational therapy, Music/Art therapy, Nursing, Psychiatry or Psychology).

Must be 18 years of age and older
Available daily 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM, Most needed on (Weekdays 4pm-10pm) and (Weekends 10am-10pm)

Patient Care Unit

The volunteer’s role is to add an additional personal dimension of genuine concern and compassion to patients and their families, improve the quality of care, and to assist the staff as needed in the delivery of care. The volunteer, by letting patients and their families know that someone is concerned about their emotional and physical needs, and is there to assist in finding solutions to their concerns, can have a significant impact on the individuals perception of their hospital experience. Volunteers also provide an invaluable service by assisting the Nursing staff in fulfilling their roles and duties.

Must be 16 years of age or older
Available daily, 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Occupational Therapy

Volunteers assist therapists with follow-up phone surveys, appointment confirmation and patient registration. They greet patients upon arrival, and assist therapists with a variety of tasks such as setup/cleanup of the treatment area, organizing materials, assisting with treatment group, folding towels, sheets, and gowns.

Applicants must be currently attending OT/PT school or actively applying.

Must be 18 years of age or older
Available daily 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM


The Waiting Room As a Literacy & Learning Environment (WALLE) is a pediatrics initiative of the NewYork-Presbyterian Ambulatory Care Network. WALLE seeks to address the social determinants of health through a unique two-fold approach: improving health literacy by providing targeted health education, and empowering patients to seek out resource referrals to help their social needs.  The goals of the program are to provide a patient-centered approach that will improve quality of care, patient satisfaction, and health education, support clinical staff by providing supplemental counseling and resources to patients virtually, and maximize provider-patient interaction and time spent in the waiting room by increasing patient engagement.

To apply please send your volunteer application directly to [email protected]

Must be 18 years of age or older


  • Academic Year (September – May) requires commitment to complete a minimum of 150 hours within 4 - 5 consecutive months.
  • Summer Semester (June-August) requires commitment to complete a minimum of 120 hours within 3 months.
  • Shifts available weekdays only, between 9am and 5pm.  Minimum of 8 hours per week (1 shift of 8 hours or 2 shifts of 4 hours)

Golden Spoons

Volunteers provide support to the nursing staff and patients in need of assistance during meal times so that patients may meet their optimal nutritional goal.  This helps improve clinical outcomes by providing companionship, social contact and stimulation during meals. Some patients encounter difficulties while eating or being able to feed themselves.  Golden Spoons is a truly collaborative effort to try and improve the health and wellness of our patients.  Volunteers help prevent malnutrition, which has been associated with longer lengths of stay and higher rates of complications. When not assisting patients during mealtimes, volunteers add an additional personal dimension of genuine concern and compassion to patients and their families, improve the quality of care, and assist the staff as needed in the delivery of care.

Must be 18 years of age or older

Available daily 7:30 AM – 10:00 AM; 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM; 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM

Reach out and Read

Reach Out and Read (ROR) volunteers provide a positive reading experience while demonstrating read-aloud techniques in the presence of patients’ caregivers in the waiting room of the Ambulatory Care Network (ACN) sites and highlight reading as an engaging activity for children that makes the waiting room ambience more pleasant.