January 13, 2005
Giving is a way of life for head of volunteers at Methodist Specialty Care Center
By Lisa Uzzle Gates
Health and Research News Service
FLOWOOD, Miss.—Time and compassion are meant to be given away. That is a lesson that Robby Scucchi has learned in both his personal and professional lives. Scucchi, 33, is the first director of the new volunteer services program at the Methodist Specialty Care Center.
The $9 million center, which opened in Flowood in February, is a residential facility for people with severe disabilities.
A native of Greenville, he served as the volunteer services/workforce development Specialist for Delta Regional Medical Center for five years before coming to Flowood.
He understood the importance of volunteering long before that. It was his mother, Brenda Scucchi, who instilled in her son the need to give.
"She encouraged us to do things for other people," he said. "My mom was always out volunteering for something, not for the praise, but for the sheer kindness in her heart. She is my greatest inspiration."
When Brenda Scucchi was diagnosed with cancer, Robby Scucchi learned even more about the importance of volunteers. He spent a lot of time in hospitals, and finally a hospice, as his mother battled the disease.
The staff and caregivers, including volunteers, made that difficult journey a bit easier. After her death, Scucchi sought solace in offering his time to others in similar situations, and after three years of serving as a volunteer he was led to embark on a career centered around volunteering.
"My mom instilled in me the value of giving to others," says Scucchi. "I feel both passionate and fortunate about what I do at the center," he adds.
"Robby has a love for what he does and you see that in his actions every day," says Jan Robertson, Methodist Specialty Care Center administrator.
"I want the enthusiasm that he exhibits for his profession to overflow into our volunteer program at the facility. Volunteer services in a long term care facility are a vital part of everyday life. It offers so much more to the residents than just an hour a week. It allows them to build long term friendships."
Scucchi, along with the staff at Methodist Specialty Care Center, have put together a volunteer program that compliments the needs of the residents and the staff. The program will offer an extra dimension of care and service to residents, family, visitors and the staff.
"The Volunteer Services Program can not work effectively without the support of the staff," he says. "The staff here has been very open and has offered suggestions of what the volunteers can do to assist the residents. They have also offered names of contacts of potential volunteers."
Volunteers are needed at the specialty care center to do everything from spending time with residents playing games, reading or visiting with them to taking them on outings.
Scucchi said they can use volunteers on the weekends and after hours, for people who have full-time jobs. "It's a new program and I have a lot of ideas. And the residents have things they are already asking for help with," he said.
One of the first projects he is undertaking is finding tutors for some residents who want to complete their General Equivalency Degree. He hopes to get that kicked off in January.
For details about volunteering at Methodist Specialty Care Center, contact Scucchi at 420-7769 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information about Methodist Specialty Care Center admissions, call 601-420-7760.