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Teens Volunteer at Navy Hospital in Florida

Compliments of: By Navy Petty Officer 1st Class James Stenberg                              Naval Hospital Pensacola

The American Red Cross and Naval Hospital Pensacola work together each summer to support the Red Cross-sponsored Summer Teen Volunteer Program, which enables teens to volunteer at the hospital.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Hannah Branstetter, a teen volunteer, records information while volunteering at the Computer Axial Tomography Scan suite at Pensacola Naval Hospital in Florida on July 31, 2013. Teen volunteers like Branstetter spend their summer working and learning in various departments at Naval Hospital Pensacola through the Red Cross-sponsored Summer Teen Volunteer Program. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class James Stenberg

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

The Red Cross has a long and proud tradition of assisting U.S. military medical facilities. From greeting everyone with a smile as they come in the door to assisting staff and patients in various ways throughout the hospital, the volunteers here make a big difference in helping the hospital complete its mission of providing exceptional health care.

“We have a joint venture with the Red Cross for the teen program and every year we do what is called the Red Cross Teen Summer Volunteer Program,” said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Edward Brinston, the hospital’s Summer Teen Volunteer Program coordinator. “The goal is to allow [teens] to come to our facility or our outlying clinics and volunteer to get the exposure of how we operate as a medical treatment facility. What I like about it is that the [teens] are able to rotate around to different departments depending on what their interests are.”

The program gives the teens a chance to work at various sections in the hospital. Along with the experiences they get from working in the medical field, their volunteer time counts as community service hours towards certain graduation and scholarship requirements.

“Part of our mission is to support the services of the armed forces,” said LaDonna Spivey, volunteer coordinator for the Northwest Florida Red Cross Chapter. “This teen volunteer program helps them get the best of both worlds. As they support the hospital and get volunteer hours they might need for [graduation] or for scholarships, they also get to explore a potential future career.”

Some of the volunteers used the opportunity to explore a possible career in medicine.

“I’m really interested in going into the medical field, so that was a big draw for me,” said Hannah Branstetter, a teen volunteer. “I have learned a lot and really like the people here in radiology. I learned how to set up X-rays, I.V.s and lots of other things, and it all helps if you want to go on and do things in the medical field.”

“I volunteered to get my community service hours and for [planning] my future,” said Latiya Bailey, another teen volunteer. “I was thinking about wanting to be a pediatrician or dental hygienist and while I was volunteering here I worked in dental and pediatrics.”

While some of the volunteers had little or no previous knowledge of Navy medicine, several of the volunteers had in-depth knowledge prior to arriving to the hospital through their parents who work at the hospital.

“I was happy that she had the opportunity to volunteer this year,” Bailey’s mother, Ananda Lemon, leading petty officer, Directorate Branch Health Clinics, said when asked about her daughter’s volunteer experience at the hospital.

“She was able to complete her community service hours in a relatively short amount of time,” Lemon said of her daughter. “She passed the mark she needed for graduation, but she was interested in pediatrics and dental. I think getting the opportunity to see a little bit of both helped her focus on what she really wants to do in the future.

“I think it’s a good opportunity for teens,” she continued, “they can get an idea of what reality is all about as far as the work force, and it gives them a different mindset on different types of careers they could possibly go into. Anybody that has the opportunity to take advantage of the program should do it.”

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About Edited by Susan Bainbridge

At age 6, Susan was destined to be a journalist and photographer.  In 1980, Susan founded Bainbridge News and The Bainbridge Chronicle Newspaper. Bainbridge News specializes in Military and National Politics, including Military Funerals and Burials and Political Funerals and Burials.  Susan has covered the White House, the Pentagon and Capitol Hill. She has covered every president from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama. Recognized for her versatility, Susan has also covered finance, crime, civil rights events, marches, sports, musical events and more. In 1990, she established Bainbridge Photography, an On-Location photography company. In addition to military and political events, including Military and Political funerals and burials, Bainbridge Photography expanded into covering ALL funerals and burials, receptions, weddings, real estate, inventory, insurance, portrait, head shot, pets, fire and Hazmat.  Miss Bainbridge believes in going the extra mile. "My Clients always come first." In 1980, Susan began her career in Washington, D.C., working for WMZQ Radio as a reporter and guest hostess from 1980 to 1985. Intrigued by radio, Susan wanted to write, freelancing for radio, television and print newspapers, including AP, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Northern Virginia Sun, The Press-Republican and The Bainbridge Chronicle (established by Susan Bainbridge). In 1986, Susan worked at WDCA-TV Channel 20 as a guest hostess for "Eye On Washington." From 1990 to 1994, Susan reported and anchored for "The Arlington Weekly News." Additionally, she produced a segment for the G. Gordon Liddy Radio Show. A prolific writer, while in high school in 1977, Bainbridge wrote an episode for NBC's "Little House on The Prairie" entitled "Laura's Best Friend." Though the show's producers did not use the script then, NBC producers encouraged Susan to pursue a writing and journalism career. Susan is a member of the National Press Club, the National Press Photographer's Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. Susan Bainbridge's recognitions include from former Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton, former First Lady Nancy Reagan, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the late actor Lorne Greene, among many others. BAINBRIDGE NEWS was founded in 1980 by Susan Bainbridge (a sixth generation writer), a third generation journalist, a first generation photographer and a fourth generation entrepreneur. She is the first generation to establish a news business. Bainbridge News is dedicated in honor of Miss Bainbridge's late grandfather and idol, Mark S. Watson (The Baltimore Sun editor and war correspondent from 1920 to his death in 1966).

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