Volunteers are critical to helping OSF HealthCare serve patients with the greatest care and love. One senior who brings a welcoming smile to patients’ lives is Gloria Fiorenza, a Rockford, Illinois, native.
Every week, for more than 52 years, Gloria has been volunteering at OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center. “After so many years of generous service, she continues to show up with a smile on her face, ready to serve and greet our guests,” states Amy Mullen, program coordinator at OSF Healing Pathways Cancer Resource Center.
Gloria has donated more than 15,000 service hours. Her efforts include helping found the annual golf outing, serving alongside Sally Cicero as the initial event coordinators 35 years ago. This year, OSF Saint Anthony’s recognized Ms. Fiorenza for volunteering at each golf invitational since its creation. Gloria explains, “this is my hometown hospital … and volunteering made me happy.” Throughout her years of service, every moment has been geared towards helping others – whether it’s organizing a fundraising event or holding a patient’s hand during chemotherapy.
Her warm sense of humor and contagious laugh have made her a valuable member of the caregiver community. Gloria assists with many behind the scenes clerical duties and puts together envelopes for mailings and new guest orientation packets. Patients are so impressed with Gloria’s kindness and dedication that they go out of their way to see her. “Our guests will regularly drop in during her shift, even if there isn’t a program scheduled, just to say hi and visit with her. She is such a gift to our team at OSF Healing Pathways,” affirms Mullen.
A cancer diagnosis can be devastating and sometimes lonely. At OSF Healing Pathways, we have a community of caregivers committed to helping cancer patients, survivors and their families live better during, and after, cancer treatment. “Our volunteers benefit the program and the Pepe Cancer Center by being hospitable and welcoming heralds of our Mission,” says Mullen. Volunteers contribute their time and talents to provide comfort to patients who are navigating a cancer diagnosis, giving gentleness, kindness and accompaniment.
When patients need a listening ear or someone to share a cup of coffee with, our volunteers brighten their day. And volunteers like Gloria speak wisdom into the lives of the patients she encounters. She always has encouragement to share. “I look forward to each Tuesday morning because I know that Gloria will be coming in to share her gifts with our patients,” explains Mullen.
Gloria explains the reason she volunteers: “I enjoy it, and I’ve made a lot of good friends over the years.”
How to Help
At OSF Healing Pathways and the Patricia D. Pepe Center for Cancer Care at OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center, we make a difference in the lives of our patients because of our supportive caregivers. Our volunteers make it possible to provide the programs and services we offer patients. To learn about volunteer activities and apply, please click here. The cancer center at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center has been a regional leader in cancer care for more than 20 years. You can bring hope to cancer patients with a generous gift. A $10 gift will help provide world-class cancer treatment in the Rockford community.