Volunteer Highlight: Ray Swift

When patients arrive to attend Joint Camp at Mid-Columbia Medical Center, one of the first persons they encounter is an alumnus of the program. Ray Swift had a joint replacement at MCMC seven years ago, and he has returned as a volunteer to help other patients who will be undergoing the same surgery.

“I look at their schedule and help direct them to wherever they need to be, whether it’s physical therapy, the pharmacy or the class they attend to explain the
surgery,” he says.

The 68-year-old retired newspaperman has been helping direct patients in Joint Camp for about a year. “I enjoy talking with them, and I know a lot of them. We talk about old times,” Swift notes. “I like to make them feel good about their decision and MCMC.”

While he is relatively new to his role at the hospital, he is not new to volunteering. “I have worked at the animal shelter for seven or eight years,” he recounts. “While most of that time was spent cleaning kennels, I also serve on the board. I love dogs and have no intention of leaving that position.”

Swift got involved with volunteering at MCMC at the invitation of an old friend, who also happens to be an employee. He says that he as well as his parents, wife, and four children have been patients over the 40 years that he has lived in The Dalles. He moved here from Maine when he was 27; and although he had only planned to stay four months, he never left. He loves the lifestyle and the people here.

“This is a pretty small town, and it’s the people who make this medical center what it is,” he says. “I feel we’re very lucky to have a five-star hospital right here in our community.”