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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

Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (CPEP)

This volunteer program is designed to increase the general mental well-being of patients in the CPEP, which is located within our Adult Emergency Department. Volunteers engage with patients by participating in diversional recreational activities and providing support to groups facilitated by clinical staff members. The primary goals of this program are to decrease agitation and boredom among patients while improving satisfaction and outcomes. Applicants must have an interest in the mental health field and 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)

Emergency Department (ED)

Emergency department volunteers offer social and emotional support to patients and their families. Through communication, companionship, and problem-solving techniques, volunteers can bring warmth and reassurance to a patient’s experience in the fast-paced environment of the ED, which can often feel stressful or intimidating. Must be 18 years of age and older.

Daily program, 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Golden Spoons

Sometimes, patients might struggle with poor appetite or eating problems while in the hospital. In addition, packaged foods can be difficult to open, and some patients need assistance. Golden Spoons helps support patients during mealtimes so they can better meet their nutrition goals during their stay. Volunteers play a key role in preventing malnutrition, which has been linked with longer lengths of stay and higher rates of complications. Applicants 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

NYP Guide

The NYP Guide Program is designed to reduce confusion and help individuals as they navigate through the hospital. Volunteers may guide patients or visitors by walking with them to the area of the hospital that they wish to visit. If you like to give directions and put a smile on someone’s face, this program is for you!

Training provided. This position requires standing for long periods of time and greeting patients and visitors.
Must be 16 Years of age or older
Available daily, 8:00am - 8:00pm

Occupational Therapy

Volunteers may assist occupational 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 groups, and folding towels, sheets, and gowns. Applicants must be currently attending OT/PT school or actively applying. Must be 18 years of age or older.

Daily program, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Patient Care Units

Unit volunteers bring another level of care and compassion by assisting patients and family members and liaising with the nursing and unit staff to prioritize patient needs. This includes visiting and talking with patients, offering emotional support, and helping visitors on the unit. Volunteers also provide an invaluable service by assisting the Nursing staff in fulfilling their roles and duties. Applicants must be 16 years of age or older.

Available daily, 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Patient Services Administration (PSA) Volunteer Program

Volunteers work with the PSA Representative to provide high-quality patient care that’s safe, consistent, and compassionate. Responsibilities may 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 to volunteer.

Daily program, 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Reach Out and Read

The Reach Out and Read (ROR) program strives to improve the waiting room experience for patients and their families at Ambulatory Care Network (ACN) sites through reading together. Volunteers demonstrate read-aloud techniques and highlight reading as an engaging activity for kids that makes the waiting room ambiance more pleasant.


The Waiting Room As a Literacy & Learning Environment (WALLE) is a pediatrics initiative designed to address the social determinants of health through a two-fold approach: improving health literacy by providing targeted health education and empowering patients to seek out resource referrals to help their social needs. Volunteers may support clinical staff by providing supplemental counseling and resources to patients virtually. They may also help to maximize provider-patient interaction and time spent in the waiting room through patient engagement. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older.

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