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Volunteer at UK HealthCare

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

Updated November 29, 2021


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, and Tdap; and flu shot during flu season).

Teen volunteers  

We appreciate your patience, and interest, as we worked through scenarios for our summer teen volunteer program. Unfortunately, we are officially announcing the cancelation of the 2021 Summer Teen program. We look forward to having a 2022 summer teen program and seeing YOU next year!

College volunteers

Updated November 29, 2021: Decisions on Spring 2022 have not been made as of yet. We will update this page as we have information to share. Thanks for your understanding as we work to provide the safest environment for patients, visitors, and staff!

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 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.