Volunteer at UK HealthCare

Notice: Volunteer support resuming in select areas, using a phased-in approach 

Updated February 15, 2023


Why volunteer?


Are you interested in giving some of your time to help others during what can be a stressful period in their lives? Looking for a way to give back to the community? Curious to learn more about healthcare professions?

If you answered "yes" to any of the above, why not become a UK HealthCare volunteer? Our office offers volunteers an opportunity to use their abilities to improve the patient and family experience.

Adults 18 and older are welcome and encouraged to join us in caring for the people of the Commonwealth, and we have a yearly summer program for teens 14 to 17.

Volunteers are asked to commit to a minimum of two hours a week, and there is no maximum. We'll work with you to create a schedule that fits your lifestyle.  

Benefits of volunteering

When you volunteer at UK HealthCare, you'll know you're helping people who really need you. Our volunteers say that the time they give at UK HealthCare is an invaluable experience and that the appreciation of the people they help is the greatest reward.  

We also like to recognize our volunteers for all the hard work they do. Our volunteers receive: 

  • Special celebrations throughout the year.
  • Group outings, including trips to Keeneland and other historic places across Kentucky.  
  • Free parking passes (not available for current UK employees and students).
  • Free LexTran fare with your UK volunteer ID badge.
  • Discounts on meals in our cafeterias and cafe areas.

Current opportunities

Thank you for your interest in becoming a volunteer at UK HealthCare! Volunteers help across the healthcare campus, including UK Chandler and UK Good Samaritan emergency departments, information desks, surgery waiting rooms, gift shops and ambulatory clinics. We also have Child Life opportunities available in the Kentucky Children's Hospital.

Our application process consists of the following: 

  • Completed application packet
  • In-person interview
  • Background check/drug screening is required for every adult over 18 (not required for teens)
  • Medical screens (including TB risk assessment and blood test; proof of immunity to MMR, Varicella, Covid, and Tdap; and flu shot during flu season).

COVID Vaccine Statement:

The University of Kentucky considers the health, safety and well-being of our entire community to be a top priority. In alignment with this priority, all current and new volunteers must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or obtain an approved medical or religious exemption in order to volunteer. Volunteering cannot begin until (at least) two weeks after receiving the full COVID-19 vaccination series or upon obtaining an approved exemption. Only vaccines approved by the World Health Organization can be accepted.

Exemption Process:

Requesting medical or religious exemption from vaccine requirement
If you would like to request an exemption (religious or medical) from the COVID vaccine mandate, follow the instructions outlined below.

  1. If requesting medical exemption, print and complete the provider letter. The signed form will need to be uploaded through MyChart exemption process.
  2. All requests for exemptions will be processed electronically, through Epic and your MyChart account. How to Access and Complete an Immunization Declination Request Form – UK HealthCare
  3. Information on how to sign up for MyChart is included here. You do not need to be a patient of UK HealthCare to have a MyChart account.

If an exemption is granted, the unvaccinated volunteer shall be subject to certain conditions, including regular COVID-19 testing, provided by UK HealthCare.

Teen volunteers  

The Summer Teen Volunteer Program is available to students 14-18 years old.  This program allows teens an opportunity to explore the nature of a large healthcare facility, as well as provide volunteer service to the community.  Mandatory orientation is on Wednesday, June 14th.  The program runs from June 19th- July 28th; shifts are from 9am – 12pm and 1pm – 4pm (volunteers can work two shifts in a day with a lunch break in between). Teens are required to participate in 5 of the 6 weeks, minimum of 2 shifts per week, for a total of 30 hours.  Teens must provide their own transportation.     

Please note: Teen volunteers do not perform research or observe medical or patient-care procedures of any kind. 

How to Apply:

STEP ONE: Complete the Teen Volunteer Application online: https://redcap.uky.edu/redcap/surveys/?s=LJMXNXPKE4.  Wait to fill out the application until you have these documents, as you will need to upload and attach them via PDF. 

Attachment #1: Provide a copy of immunization record/s verifying the following immunizations:

  • Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) – must have 2 vaccinations
  • Varicella (Chickenpox) – must have 2 vaccinations OR verification of having Chickenpox can be noted through medical documentation
  • Tdap – must have 1 vaccination

Attachment #2: Provide a copy of COVID vaccination card if you have completed the 2 dose series.

Note: If you are in the process of being vaccinated or receiving an approved exemption, you may still apply for the program. If you are accepted into the program, you must be fully vaccinated or have an approved exemption by Monday, May 29th. Please see the COVID vaccine statement and exemption in the above section for details on requesting an exemption from the vaccine requirement.

Attachment #3: Submit a typed essay of 350-450 words answering the following questions:  1. How would volunteering at UK HealthCare impact your life and why should we select you as part of the UK HealthCare Summer Teen Volunteer Program? 2. What accomplishment in your life are you most proud of?  3. What are your future goals?  Essays should be simple 12 point font, double-spaced, and include your name.  

STEP TWO: Download, complete, and submit the following together in one envelope to Volunteer Services by 5pm on Friday, March 31st: HIPAA Form and Exam, Parental Consent Form, and Media Release Form in a signed, sealed envelope. All required documents are linked on the application.

Incomplete application packets WILL NOT be considered!!!                                                                                                       

Deadline: A completed application (both online and mailed documents) must be received by Volunteer Services no later than Friday, March 31st at 5pm to be considered for the program.  All documents listed in step two may be dropped off at Volunteer Services, Pavilion A, 1st Floor, Rm. 129 during business hours (Monday – Friday 8:30am – 4:30pm) or mailed to Attn: Volunteer Services, 1000 South Limestone, Pav A.01.129, Lexington, KY, 40536.

For questions and/or concerns, please contact Hannah Freeman, UK HealthCare Volunteer Coordinator at hannah.freeman@uky.edu or 859-323-5796

College volunteers

We have filled all college volunteer spots for Spring 2023. Please check back in August for information on the Fall 2023 semester.

Adult volunteers

We are not currently accepting applications for new adult volunteers. General onboarding will resume later this spring. 

Our current wish list

The following items are things that patients will frequently request from our office. All donations should be brand new and not marked with any political/religious affiliations. Donations can be dropped off during normal business hours to Volunteer Services between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. We are located at 1000 South Limestone, Lexington, KY 40536. 

  • Activity books (puzzles, crosswords, seek and finds, Sudoku, etc.)
  • Coloring books
  • Writing utensils (pens, pencils, colored pencils, crayons)
  • Small, compact games (such as decks of cards)
  • Brand new underwear (men and women, all sizes)
  • Sweatshirts, and sweatpants/yoga pants/pajama pants (men and women, sizes S, M, L, XL, XXL; maternity wear also appreciated)

Special holiday project: The Snow Bunny Baby Baskets! Several years ago, one of our NICU volunteers decided to put together baskets for families of NICU babies around the holidays. The project has grown, and we now put together baskets for every NICU baby in Lexington! This volunteer-led project relies on donations.  For some information on the project, including how to donate, visit this Facebook page.

Please contact Volunteer Services at 859-323-6023 or e-mail the Volunteer Office if you have any questions. 

UK HealthCare does not accept volunteers requiring court-ordered community service hours.

Our volunteer program is unable to offer externships, internships, job shadowing, drop-in assignments, etc.

Volunteering at UK HealthCare does not lead to employment within the University of Kentucky system.



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