Clinical Center News
Summer 2018

NIH Clinical Center celebrates support provided by hundreds of volunteers

During National Volunteer Week, April 15-21, the NIH Clinical Center honored 125 volunteers for the support they provide 28 hospital departments and countless patients. The Volunteer Program is led by the Office of Hospitality and Volunteer Services. Two volunteers who are making a difference are Chaoyang Wang and Nathan Wright. Read a bit about them below – and learn how you can volunteer.

Chaoyang Wang
NIH Clinical Center volunteer Chaoyang Wang
NIH Clinical Center volunteer Chaoyang Wang.

Wang is in his third year at the University of Maryland studying Physiology and Neurobiology with a minor in Piano Performance. He is applying to medical schools.

His family background influenced his decision to volunteer at the NIH and shaped his dream of becoming a surgeon. His father is a biostatistician at a drug company and his mother is an OB GYN nurse at a local health facility. When Wang was on summer break during high school, he began volunteering as a student researcher at NIH pancreatic cancer and adult bone marrow stem cells research laboratories.

Since 2017, when he discovered the volunteer services program at the NIH Clinical Center, he has been volunteering on the 9th floor Outpatient Medical Surgical Specialties Unit one day per week. Wang assists patients with medical appointments.

"Creating a welcoming environment for patients dealing with health issues is important on the unit," said Wang. He also volunteers in the Radiology Department one day per week. "I work closely with the Radiology technicians and the nurses and have observed how interdisciplinary healthcare is at the NIH."

Nathan Wright
NIH Clinical Center volunteer Nathan Wright
NIH Clinical Center volunteer Nathan Wright.

Volunteer Nathan Wright, a former Marine Corps marathon runner who uses the marathon motto "Run with Purpose, Finish with Pride," came to NIH after a life changing event. Wright, a retired NASA aerospace engineer who worked on the Hubble Space Telescope, hoped to participate in a NIH clinical research trial and find answers regarding the two strokes that he experiences. Unfortunately, the clinical trials available at that time were not a good fit for him personally, but he remained impressed by the parallel connection between the brightest minds in medical research at NIH and the brightest minds in space exploration at NASA. So he wanted to find another way to connect with NIH.

Helping others interested Wright, so in 2017, he began volunteering at the Clinical Center, offering coffee and snacks to patients as they wait for their appointment.

"Patients brighten up when I serve them coffee. Serving others is a selfless act, whether you're serving for your country in the military or serving patients at the NIH Clinical Center," he said.

Staff at the site of a new facility
Woman typing on a Workstation on Wheels computer
Staff view a piece of paper in a kitchen
Men on stage at the awards
Josh and Lisa Danielpour
A redesigned common area in the NIH Clinical Center Edmond J. Safra Family Lodge
Nicholas Rodriquez enjoying the Virtual Reality experience
A young boy voting on gingerbread houses
Retired Navy Capt. Pius A. Aiyelawo speaking at the NIH Veterans Day Celebration Nov. 7
Pediatric patients are given candy by departments at the Clinical Center
a man smiling
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Karen Baker, Dr. Colleen Hadigan and Victoria Anderson stand in a hallway.
Dr. Daniel Kastner examining a patient at the NIH Clinical Center
A nurse provides Dr. Anthony Fauci a flu shot
Food allergy
NIH staff gather at a relay race at the NIH Clinical Center
Dr. Gilman speaks at a podium
Four people listen to a dietician speak about the Nutrition Department while a employee preps food
Prediction and probability maps from prostate cancer researchers
Dr. Francis Collins, Shawn Thomas and Dr. Jim Gilman stand on stage as Thomas holds a plaque
National Symphony Orchestra performance
Two men up close to the MRI magnet, outside
Dr. Christopher Pleyer, Dr. Kelly Stone and Dr. Robert Lembo stand in front of a screen that says Distinguished Clinical Teacher Award Winner. Stone holds a plaque
Artwork decorates stairwells
Dr. William Ward speaks at a podium and a screen behind him is a poster that says Immunohematology & Blood Transfusion, 27th Annual Symposium
Four students and a teacher hold an oversized check to benefits patients at the NIH Clinical Center
Senior leaders at NIH cut a ribbon opening two hospice suites at the Clinical Center
Laptop with stethoscope nearby
Patient Photography Studio
Dr. Francis Collins, director of the NIH sties in a chair to the left. Barbra Streisand holds a microphone and sits in a chair to the right – speaks to the audience
Dr. James Gilman stands with Alba C. Murphy as they smile and hold a certificate
A paper cutout of a hand shape with a stick on the end. Text on the paper says I [heart] clean hands
Patient with Degos disease addresses symposium attendees
CDC and NIH representatives stand in a special isolation patient room at the NIH Clinical Center
Eight young men and women line up holding graduation certificates in Lipsett Auditorium
A four panel exhibit with photos, text and artifacts on NIH medical pioneers Christian Anfinsen and Michael Potter
NIH Clinical Center volunteer Chaoyang Wang
Woman with scientific cap on her head plays a touch game
Doctors at NIH speak in a lecture hall during Nurses Week
NIH Clinical Center doctor receives award
Children participate in Take Your Child to Work Day Hematology Lab
Leslie Wehrlen holds a plaque.
Sixteen women, graduates of the program and departmental leaders, gather for a photo
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Pius Aiyelawo swearing into the Senior Executive Service with Dr. Lawrence Tabak
Jackson Taylor (right) and his donor Sean McLaughlin (left)
Dr. Thomas Burklow
Two care providers look at a computer