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Our First Volunteers

Inova Alexandria Hospital was started by volunteers in 1872. Julia Johns, daughter of the Episcopal bishop of Alexandria, called together a group of concerned citizens and friends who were interested in charity work. Johns asked for their support in forming a society that would both establish and run a local hospital; this was the beginning of Alexandria Hospital.

Alexandrians and residents in the surrounding community continue to volunteer enthusiastically and serve in 50 areas of the hospital. The primary focus of all volunteer service is to support our clinical staff in delivering excellent care and providing a positive patient experience.

The Volunteer's Role

The volunteer's role is to make patients' hospital experiences as pleasant and personal as possible. Volunteer Services' mission at Inova Alexandria Hospital is to develop and maintain an efficient and effective corps of volunteers to:

  • Offer an extra dimension of care and service to patients, their families and visitors
  • Provide support and assistance to hospital staff
  • Strengthen the ties between the hospital and the community we serve

Time Commitments

We ask that adult volunteers work a four-hour shift each week with a minimum of 100 hours a year. Many retirees volunteer because they want to give back to the community. Young working adults also want to be of service, or are exploring a career in healthcare. 

High school volunteers between the ages of 16 and 18 commit to serving two to four hours a week with a minimum of 50 hours a year. Students perform assignments similar to the adult volunteers and may be fulfilling high school service requirements, enhancing their resumes, exploring health careers and simply sharing their time and helping others in the community.

Assignments, Orientation and Training

All volunteers attend a 30 minute information session, two hour orientation session and assignment-specific training. Volunteers are matched to appropriate assignments that meet the needs of the hospital. 

Volunteers serve in a variety of clinical areas including: 

  • Visitor's information desk
  • Outpatient center
  • Emergency Debartment lobby
  • Operating room

Non-clinical areas where volunteers serve include:

  • Accounting
  • Human Resources
  • Medical Affairs
  • Cancer Center

Volunteer Benefits

  • Exploring new interests and experiencing the satisfaction of helping others
  • Opportunity to use your gifts and talents
  • Reduced rates for wellness classes through Inova Well
  • Inclusion in hospital special events
  • New friends
  • Annual awards luncheon
  • Volunteer Week celebration
  • Free parking in visitor's parking lot
  • Discount in the cafeteria