Patient Experience Ambassadors: How Volunteers are Making a Personal Connection with Patients

Photo L to R: PXers Steven Yang, Evan Calvo, Abreah Little, Janine Hill

Launched in November of 2018, Magee’s Patient Experience (PX) Ambassadors program trains volunteers to spend quality time with patients. Scheduled at the end of the therapy day, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., the PX Ambassadors, or PXers, visit all patients and their families to make a personal connection and offer a kind word.

“The PX Ambassadors program is a way for our volunteers to take Concierge Services to a deeper level, providing emotional support to all of our patients, especially those who might be lonely, feeling down, or do not have regular visitors,” Robin Parry, Concierge at Magee, says.

Magee currently has 12 PX Ambassadors who connect with patients and their families each day of the week.

“Since taking over coordinating volunteers in August of 2018, I am most proud of being a part of the team that jumpstarted the PX Ambassadors program,” Shannon Jacobs, Guest Relations and Volunteer Services Support Coordinator, says. “This volunteer position not only helps our patients with immediate non-clinical needs, but also helps our volunteers – mostly students – engage in supportive and meaningful patient interactions that are so important for their future in healthcare.”

PXer Evan Calvo is applying to medical school this fall. He chose the Volunteer Program at Magee because it was patient-centered.

“I find it incredibly rewarding to work directly with patients,” Evan says. “Although some people prefer to spend time alone, they often appreciate someone stopping by, that we are thinking about them, and that they are heard. I can sense their gratitude. Sometimes it’s less about the activities or the items on the cart, and it’s more about the interpersonal interactions. There are people who want to share their stories, and hear our stories, and then there are some people who just want to color.”

The PX Activity Cart offers patients activities to pass the time: crosswords, Sudoku, magazines, and jigsaw puzzles, all funded by The Friends of Jerry Segal.

PXer Janine Hill wanted to volunteer, so she read some of the patient success stories on Magee’s website.

“I was amazed by the patients’ stories and how Magee helped them ‘Believe in a way back,’” Janine says. “We’re here for whatever the patients need. They get excited about the cart and the activities on it. For some people, just having the ability to talk to someone is valuable. When a patients is sad or upset, the human connection can be so important in the healing process. I’m also excited that this position will help me prepare for my future healthcare career.”

“Our PX Ambassadors might appear to be simply dropping off fun activities for patients to pass the time,” Robin says. “But with Shannon’s keen work in onboarding the most empathetic volunteers, we can go even further in identifying patients who need some extra TLC and deliver it. That provides not only a better patient experience, but also a more rewarding volunteer experience.”

“Hand-picking and training this unique volunteer group is such a fulfilling process,” Shannon says. “Seeing the care that each of our PX Ambassadors gives to our patients and their families makes me feel like a proud mama.”

Volunteer with Magee

If you are interested in becoming a Magee volunteer, please contact Shannon Jacobs at or 215-587-3140

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