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Ambassador program provides extra support and comfort to patients, staff and visitors

Note to editors: Photo available.

August 7, 2007, Brooklyn, NY…LMC's new Ambassador Program gets a kick-start from two community leaders: Susan Rohan, vice president of the May Ellen and Gerald Ritter Foundation, and Eleanor Petty, secretary of Brooklyn's Community Board 10, and chairman of the Parks Committee. The volunteer initiative, pioneered by Susan Rohan, was created to provide extra support and comfort to patients, staff and visitors.

The program, which began this spring, places a handpicked group of community volunteers in the hospital's main lobby to welcome and greet patients, family members and visitors as they enter the hospital and assist them to their destination. Lutheran, which recognizes the stress, difficulty and confusion sometimes associated with hospital visits, implemented this program to help offset those issues by offering the patient and family members personal assistance, guidance and encouragement as soon as they arrive.

"No one ever really wants to be in any hospital, so it's especially gratifying when we can be helpful," says Rohan. "Even if it's only to provide directions, it's a great experience and we really help make a difference."

Since the first team's success, the Ambassador Program has grown to include a second group of community volunteers: Margaret Daly and Diana Boutross. Additionally, the teams' level of support often extends beyond the initial greeting. "Many times people are concerned about a sick or injured family member," says Petty. "We'll stay with them for as long as needed, to talk, to lend a hand somehow, even a shoulder to cry on."

The May Ellen and Gerald Ritter Foundation is one of southwest Brooklyn's most passionate sponsors of health related issues and causes in New York City. Recently, The foundation spearheaded Lutheran's new cath lab initiative to bring much needed cardiac services to community residents. The foundation, led by Vincent Rohan, is a private foundation providing funding for numerous charities in the Greater New York area as well as those out-of-state.

Lutheran HealthCare's more than 500 dedicated volunteers are men and women, high school and college students, retirees, career professionals, homemakers, and even former patients. They enhance the quality of services by providing assistance to patients, families, visitors and staff. If you'd like to find out more about Lutheran's Volunteer Services please contact the volunteer office at 718-630-7296.

A Level I Trauma Center and Stroke Center, Lutheran Medical Center (LMC) has cared for Brooklyn communities since 1883. As a full service 476-bed teaching hospital, LMC is the hub of Lutheran HealthCare, a network of primary, acute and long-term care centers in southwest Brooklyn. The LMC Surgical Weight Loss Institute is the only program in Brooklyn to be designated as a Center of Excellence by the American Society for Bariatric Surgery while also holding a Level 1 Accreditation from the American College of Surgeons. Learn more about LMC and its commitment to patient care excellence, community service, health education and research online at

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