Volunteer at UK HealthCare

Updated February 23, 2024


Why volunteer?


Are you interested in giving some of your time to help others during what can be a stressful period in their lives? Looking for a way to give back to the community? Curious to learn more about healthcare professions?

If you answered "yes" to any of the above, why not become a UK HealthCare volunteer? Our office offers volunteers an opportunity to use their abilities to improve the patient and family experience.

Adults 18 and older are welcome and encouraged to join us in caring for the people of the Commonwealth, and we have a yearly summer program for teens 14 to 17.

Volunteers are asked to commit to a minimum of two hours a week, and there is no maximum. We'll work with you to create a schedule that fits your lifestyle.  

Benefits of volunteering

When you volunteer at UK HealthCare, you'll know you're helping people who really need you. Our volunteers say that the time they give at UK HealthCare is an invaluable experience and that the appreciation of the people they help is the greatest reward.  

We also like to recognize our volunteers for all the hard work they do. Our volunteers receive: 

  • Special celebrations throughout the year.
  • Group outings, including trips to Keeneland and other historic places across Kentucky.  
  • Free parking passes (not available for current UK employees and students).
  • Free LexTran fare with your UK volunteer ID badge.
  • Discounts on meals in our cafeterias and cafe areas.

Current opportunities

Thank you for your interest in becoming a volunteer at UK HealthCare! Volunteers help across the healthcare campus, including UK Chandler and UK Good Samaritan emergency departments, information desks, surgery waiting rooms, gift shops and ambulatory clinics. We also have Child Life opportunities available in the Kentucky Children's Hospital.

Our application process consists of the following: 

  • Completed application packet
  • In-person interview
  • Background check/drug screening is required for every adult over 18 (not required for teens)
  • Medical screens (including TB risk assessment and blood test; proof of immunity to MMR, Varicella, Covid, and Tdap; and flu shot during flu season).

COVID Vaccine Statement: As of August 1st, 2023 UK HealthCare is not mandating the COVID vaccine for volunteers.

Teen volunteers  

The Summer Teen Volunteer Program is available to students 14-18 years old.  This program allows teens an opportunity to explore the nature of a large healthcare facility, as well as provide volunteer service to the community.  Mandatory orientation is on Wednesday, June 12th.  The program runs from June 17th- July 26th; shifts are from 9am – 12pm and 1pm – 4pm (volunteers can work two shifts in a day with a lunch break in between). Teens are required to participate in 5 of the 6 weeks, minimum of 2 shifts per week, for a total of 30 hours.  Teens must provide their own transportation.

How to Apply:

Step One: Complete the Teen Volunteer Application online: https://redcap.uky.edu/redcap/surveys/?s=LJMXNXPKE4.  Wait to fill out the application until you have these documents, as you will need to upload and attach them via PDF. 

Attachment #1: Provide a copy of immunization record/s verifying the following immunizations:

  • Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) – must have 2 vaccinations
  • Varicella (Chickenpox) – verification of having Chickenpox can be noted through medical documentation OR documentation of 2 varicella vaccinations
  • Tdap – must have 1 vaccination

Attachment #2: Submit a typed essay of 350-450 words answering the following questions:  1. How would volunteering at UK HealthCare impact your life and why should we select you as part of the UK HealthCare Summer Teen Volunteer Program? 2. What accomplishment in your life are you most proud of?  3. What are your future goals?  Essays should be simple 12 point font, double-spaced, and include your name.  

Step Two: Download, complete, and submit the following together in one envelope to Volunteer Services by 5pm on Friday, March 29th: HIPAA Form and Exam, Parental Consent Form, and Media Release Form in a signed, sealed envelope.

Incomplete application packets will NOT be considered.                                                         

Deadline: A completed application (both online and mailed documents) must be received by Volunteer Services no later than Friday, March 29th at 5pm to be considered for the program.  All documents listed in step two may be dropped off at Volunteer Services, Pavilion A, 1st Floor, Rm. 129 during business hours (Monday – Friday 8:30am – 4:30pm) or mailed to Attn: Volunteer Services, 1000 South Limestone, Pav A.01.129, Lexington, KY, 40536.

For questions and/or concerns, please contact Hannah Freeman, UK HealthCare Volunteer Coordinator at hannah.freeman@uky.edu or 859-323-5796

College volunteers

New college volunteer spots and waitlist spots have been filled for the spring 2024 semester. Please check back in August for details regarding the fall 2024 semester. If you are interested in being notified when the fall semester application is posted, please complete this survey.

Adult volunteers

Our adult volunteer application is currently closed. We plan to open up our application again this summer. Please check back closer to that time for more details. If you are interested in being notified when the application is posted, please complete this survey.

Our current wish list

The following items are things that patients will frequently request from our office. All donations should be brand new and not marked with any political/religious affiliations. Donations can be dropped off during normal business hours to Volunteer Services between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. We are located at 1000 South Limestone, Lexington, KY 40536. 

  • Activity books (puzzles, crosswords, seek and finds, Sudoku, etc.)
  • Coloring books
  • Writing utensils (pens, pencils, colored pencils, crayons)
  • Small, compact games (such as decks of cards)
  • Brand new underwear (men and women, all sizes)
  • Sweatshirts, and sweatpants/yoga pants/pajama pants (men and women, sizes S, M, L, XL, XXL; maternity wear also appreciated)

Please contact Volunteer Services at 859-323-6023 or e-mail the Volunteer Office if you have any questions. 

UK HealthCare does not accept volunteers requiring court-ordered community service hours.

Our volunteer program is unable to offer externships, internships, job shadowing, drop-in assignments, etc.

Volunteering at UK HealthCare does not lead to employment within the University of Kentucky system.

Ronald McDonald Family Room

The Ronald McDonald Family Room began welcoming guests in 2009 inside the walls of Kentucky Children’s Hospital in Lexington, KY.  The Family Room provides a comforting and quiet area of respite, relaxation and reflection for families and loved ones of children who are being treated in the critical care units (NICU, PICU) of the hospital. The Ronald McDonald Family Room, open from 9 a.m to 9 p.m, seven days a week, is staffed with helpful specially trained and screened volunteers.  If you are interested in becoming a volunteer with the Ronald McDonald Family Room, please visit their website for more details. 

We do accept donations for the Ronald McDonald Family Room. Details regarding items needed and how to to donate are below:

RMFR Donation Drive



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