Snoqualmie Valley Hospital volunteer follows his dream to pursue medicine

January 2, 2013

By Staff

Volunteers play a vital role at Snoqualmie Valley Hospital, contributing more than 200 hours per month of service.

They provide assistance to patients, their families and the community and help fulfill the hospital’s mission to safeguard the health of the community.

Volunteers serve in many capacities: providing clerical and office support, assisting with community events and special projects, helping with patient activities, and serving as advocates for the hospital, patients and their families.

By Lindsey Oliver/Snoqualmie Valley Hospital
Volkmar Gaussmann stops long enough for a photo at Snoqualmie Valley Hospital, where he volunteers about three hours per week.

Volkmar Gaussmann began volunteering in January 2012 to fulfill his requirement as a pre-med student with Bellevue College to increase his experience in the medical field. He plans to become a pediatric hospitalist.

“Every pre-med student has to volunteer at a hospital to show their interest in medicine,” Gaussmann said. “I chose Snoqualmie Valley Hospital because I couldn’t see myself in a larger hospital where I might not have as many opportunities to help out.”

He volunteers about three hours per week, helping in a variety of ways. His projects include filing, consolidating medical records, assisting with individual staff projects and helping keep track of volunteer hours.

“I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve helped with at SVH and everyone I have worked with,” he said. “It’s been good to learn what else goes on in a hospital setting besides patient care.”

Medicine hasn’t always been a dream for Gaussmann.

In 2004, he and his wife learned that their 14-month-old son had kidney cancer. The couple spent countless hours at Seattle Children’s, watching their son endure various tests and surgery. Gaussmann realized medicine was the right path for him.

“At the time, I remember thinking how sad I was that I would never get to know him – what he likes, what sports he wants to play and what he wants to be when he grows up,” he said. “Now, he’s 9 years old, healthy and plans to be an architect.”

Gaussmann was recently accepted into the medical program at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

“I want to be able to help other children the way the doctors and staff helped my son,” he said. “I’m just happy I can live my dream. Who wouldn’t want to do this?”

Learn more about the volunteer program by emailing Shawn Boynton, volunteer coordinator, at shawnb@snoqualmiehospital.org; calling 831-2300, ext. 145; or going to www.SVHD4.org.

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