From UNC Health Care's blog - Volunteer gets in SHAPE

One of our volunteer Spanish interpreters in Patient Relations, 24-year-old Callie Joy Palma, is featured in the January 2010 issue of SHAPE magazine. The story is not available online, but you can find it on the last page of SHAPE's January issue, in a feature called “YOU … in Shape.”

Tom Hughes of the News Office wrote the following on UNC Health Care's blog

On this blog, most often we write about people who are employees of UNC Health Care or the UNC School of Medicine. But today we are going to focus on someone who comes from a very important part of our work force that doesn’t get nearly as much attention: our unpaid volunteers.

At UNC Hospitals we are fortunate to have more than 1,400 highly committed volunteers, helping us out in many different ways. (You can find out more about our Volunteer Services department here.)

One of our volunteer Spanish interpreters in Patient Relations, a 24-year-old woman named Callie Joy Palma, is featured in the January 2010 issue of SHAPE magazine.  The story is not available online (trust us — we looked for it, and it’s just not there), but you can find it on the last page of SHAPE's January issue, in a feature called “YOU … in Shape.”

Joy just graduated from UNC in December with a B.A. in Spanish, with a concentration in nutrition. The story focuses on how she makes exercise and good nutrition a priority in her life, all while juggling the demands of being a full-time college student and the mother of a 3-year-old son. What the story doesn’t say is that Joy was at the same time a student volunteer at UNC Hospitals two to three hours a week, from last May until her graduation.

How was she selected for this feature? The magazine invites readers to submit their stories and pictures by e-mail for the “YOU … in Shape” page.

“I saw that and said, ‘Why not?’ ” Joy said. “I’ve been reading the magazine for years, and it’s always been a dream of mine to be in SHAPE.”

So, she took the plunge, SHAPE wrote back, and — several months later — they told Joy she would be in the January 2010 issue.

Now that it’s out, Joy  says, the response she’s received has been tremendous.

“My Mom went out and bought like 15 copies!” she said. “And I’ve gotten messages on Facebook from people I haven’t heard from in years who saw it. It’s been fun, special and cool to me, to have this come out the same month I graduated from UNC,” she said.

Now Joy is looking for a full-time job. She’s being considered for a position that would combine her Spanish-language skills and nutrition knowledge, and Joy says her volunteer work was a big help to her in applying for that job.

“It was a really rewarding volunteer experience,” she said. “I really enjoyed it, and it helped me with my Spanish skills tremendously.”

Our collective hat is off to Joy, and to all of our volunteers, for their valuable work here. Thank you, volunteers, for all that you do.