National Volunteers Week – Kiera & Alison

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Kiera Doland and Alison Balcom are both volunteer navigators with the recently opened IWK Vaccine Clinic. Their job is to help folks find their way to the Vaccine Clinic safety and help provide answers to any questions they may have about the vaccine process.

It’s volunteers like Doland and Balcom that make so many things possible at IWK Health. With the many changes of 2020 and 2021, the importance of healthcare volunteers has been made clear. Many areas are working at capacity, there are new pandemic-related initiatives happening all the time, and everyone feeling the weight of living with a year of COVID-19. Through it all, our community in Halifax and Nova Scotia has continued to step up and volunteer their time to help when possible.

Doland and Balcom did just that when they heard the call in February for Vaccine Clinic volunteers. As they too were feeling the burnout of life with pandemic restrictions, they saw it as an opportunity to give back to the community and help make an impact in COVID-19 relief efforts.

“I remember hearing the premier say that health care was looking for volunteers and it felt like the perfect opportunity to do something about the pandemic,” says Balcom. “Both Kiera and I are doing our master’s online right now and we’re both new to Nova Scotia, so I was really eager to get involved.”

“It’s very positive at the IWK,” says Doland. “And it’s such a great way to be safely out in the community. We’re helping out at the clinic but also getting to interact with so many people.”

“A lot of people who are coming in, especially at the beginning, were folks who haven’t been out in the community in a long, long time and they’ve just been so happy. It’s been great to be able to talk with them and work alongside health care workers to help in some way,” adds Balcom.

Both Balcom and Doland agree that volunteering at the IWK has been made easy by the support of the Volunteer Services team and the flexibility offered to match their availability.

IWK Volunteer Services would like to thank all IWK volunteers for their continuous dedication to helping our patients, families, and staff. Happy Volunteers Week!