Give Kids the World: Virtua volunteers help create a special time for children battling illness
In August, 48 Virtua staff members, family,
and friends traveled to Kissimmee, Florida for the ninth annual Give Kids
The World volunteer trip. These volunteers helped children with a
life-threatening / terminal illness enjoy an incredible vacation in Walt Disney
World and other Central Florida attractions. Volunteers served meals,
assisted with activities, and ensured each child had a tremendous time.
Virtua Child Life Manager and Haddonfield, NJ resident Beth Van Buskirk has participated in many of the volunteer trips to Give Kids the World. “The Virtua volunteers have seen first-hand what a difference our team can make,” said Buskirk. “Our goal is to make the trip as special and as memorable as possible for the wish kids and their families. If that means serving them ice cream sundaes for breakfast, so be it! Their jaws drop to the floor!”
All Virtua volunteers take vacation time from work and pay for their own trips to Florida. Virtua sponsors a welcome dinner when the volunteers arrive. Buskirk explained that volunteers often “get hooked” on their first trip and become yearly volunteers. Next year’s trip will mark the 10th anniversary of Virtua volunteers
making a difference at Give Kids the World.
“It’s hard to describe Give Kids the World until you experience it first-hand,” said Buskirk. “But as one parent said to me, ‘it comes down to love.’”
As one of New Jersey’s largest, non-profit health systems, Virtua provides comprehensive health care services to achieve its mission to help people be well, get well and stay well. Virtua provides services through Virtua Medical Group with more than 450 clinicians and through Virtua Physician Partners with more than 1500 providers at its urgent care centers, hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, health and wellness centers, fitness centers, home health services, long-term care and rehabilitation centers, and paramedic program. A leader in maternal and child health services, Virtua delivers nearly 8,000 babies a year. It provides health services to 1,500 businesses, and participates in Virtua Physician Partners, a clinically integrated network of 1,400 physicians and other clinicians. Virtua is affiliated with Penn Medicine for cancer and neuroscience and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) for pediatrics. It employs over 9,000 and has been honored as the #1 Best Place to Work in the Delaware Valley every year since 2007. It is the recipient of a 4-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for quality of care, and its hospitals earned straight A’s in patient safety by The Leapfrog Group and the 2016 Patient Safety Award from Healthgrades. U.S. News and World Report ranked Virtua’s Mount Holly and Voorhees hospitals as High Performing Hospitals and Voorhees as a Best Regional Hospital. Virtua is also the recipient of the Consumer Choice Award from the National Research Corporation. For more information, visit www.virtua.org or www.virtuabroadcastnetwork.org.