Volunteer at UK HealthCare

Notice: Volunteer support resuming in select areas, using a phased-in approach 

Updated July 29, 2022


Effective March 16, 2020, active volunteer support across the UK HealthCare Enterprise was suspended. In April 2021, some volunteer support resumed using a phased-in approach; this was paused again in August 2021 due to a spike in numbers. Not all volunteers have been allowed to return. We are not taking new volunteer applications for any program at this time. We do not have a date at which point we will be able to full reactivate our program.

We appreciate your patience, and interest, as we work through this process. Covid-19 continues to guide our decision making. When we are able to recruit brand new volunteers, this webpage will be updated immediately.

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 have Child Life opportunities available in the Kentucky Children's Hospital, but are not accepting new volunteers for our Baby Cuddling program. This page will be updated as soon as openings occur.

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:

The University of Kentucky considers the health, safety and well-being of our entire community to be a top priority. In alignment with this priority, all current and new volunteers must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or obtain an approved medical or religious exemption in order to volunteer. Volunteering cannot begin until (at least) two weeks after receiving the full COVID-19 vaccination series or upon obtaining an approved exemption. Only vaccines approved by the World Health Organization can be accepted.

Exemption Process:

Requesting medical or religious exemption from vaccine requirement
If you would like to request an exemption (religious or medical) from the COVID vaccine mandate, follow the instructions outlined below.

  1. If requesting medical exemption, print and complete the provider letter. The signed form will need to be uploaded through MyChart exemption process.
  2. All requests for exemptions will be processed electronically, through Epic and your MyChart account. How to Access and Complete an Immunization Declination Request Form – UK HealthCare
  3. Information on how to sign up for MyChart is included here. You do not need to be a patient of UK HealthCare to have a MyChart account.

If an exemption is granted, the unvaccinated volunteer shall be subject to certain conditions, including regular COVID-19 testing, provided by UK HealthCare.

Teen volunteers  

Thanks to our summer teen volunteers for a wonderful Summer 2022 program! We do not accept teen volunteer applications during the school year. Information about our Summer 2023 program will be posted in February 2023. 

College volunteers

We are now accepting new college volunteers for the Fall 2022 semester! Below you will find information on the process to become a volunteer.

PLEASE KEEP THE FOLLOWING IN MIND: You will be expected to volunteer for a minimum of 2 hours weekly through Friday, December 9th including “Dead Week.”  When considering volunteering with us, look closely at your schedule to ensure you have enough time to commit to a weekly shift.  Studying for an exam or working on a project does NOT excuse you from your volunteer shift and it is your responsibility to plan accordingly. 

Examples of volunteer placement areas we have: Surgery Waiting Room, Gift Shop, Mail & Flower Delivery, Histology Lab, Oral Pathology, Integrative Medicine etc.  Placements within Kentucky Children’s Hospital are incredibly limited, and are reserved for those majoring in Family/Child Studies.  We will discuss specific opportunities in more detail during the interview.

Feel free to reach out should you have any questions. I look forward to meeting with you soon!

Hannah Freeman
UKHC Volunteer Coordinator

Step 1: Complete the survey to set up an interview: https://uky.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_74BGhbirbUFHNga. Interviews will be held Monday, August 15th – Thursday, September 1st and scheduled on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Please allow at least 30 minutes for your appointment.  You will be emailed confirmation of your interview date and time, and receive a link to the online application packet by Friday, August 12th.   

Step 2: Review and complete the entire Application Packet no later than 4pm the day before your interview, which consists of:

  • Volunteer Application
  • HIPAA information and exam
  • Volunteer Handbook and exam

Also, locate a copy of your immunization records.  You will need to provide proof of MMR (2 shots and/or proof of disease), Varicella/Chickenpox (2 shots and/or proof of disease), Tdap (1 shot), and COVID vaccine at your medical screening appointment. If you think you have had the vaccines but cannot find the records, Health Services will draw titers for you.

Step 3: Interview time! Bring your availability for the fall semester (this would include class/work schedule/other commitments).  We will discuss your application, available openings and your specific volunteer interests.  Following the interview, your information will be sent to HR to start the screening process (background check, drug/medical screenings).

Step 4: After HR confirms that all screenings were passed, we will reach out to you to send over the records from your medical screening appointment.

Step 5: On-boarding appointments will be scheduled beginning the week of September 5th. At this appointment, you’ll watch an orientation video, pay your $7 dues, and receive your final schedule/ID badge/polo shirt. They are typically no more than 30 minutes.

Step 6: You will complete any additional training and begin your first shift! Ideally, all students will be ready to start volunteering by the week of September 19th. The complete onboarding process will be between 3-5 weeks.

Adult volunteers

Thank you for your interest in volunteering at UK HealthCare. Our volunteers are invaluable to us and play an integral role in ensuring our patients, visitors, and even our staff, have a positive experience here at UK HealthCare. 

Volunteers at UK HealthCare are slowly returning to their service areas, but we are not accepting new adults volunteers at this time. It is unclear when we will be able to on-board new volunteers again. Updates will be posted on our webpage as they become available.  

    Questions can be emailed to Volunteer Services. Thank you again for your time and interest in volunteering with UK HealthCare!

    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 a.m. to 5 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)

    Special holiday project: The Snow Bunny Baby Baskets! Several years ago, one of our NICU volunteers decided to put together baskets for families of NICU babies around the holidays. The project has grown, and we now put together baskets for every NICU baby in Lexington! This volunteer-led project relies on donations.  For some information on the project, including how to donate, visit this Facebook page.

    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.



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