Arkansas Methodist Medical Center
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The Joint Commission

Candy Striper Program

The Volunteer Services Office coordinates the activities of Candy Striper Volunteers, a program which provides opportunities for youth to volunteer in a medical setting.

The first Director of Volunteer Services, Lottie Brown, started the Candy Striper Program in 1966 under Willodean Mandrell. Jo Ann Parkinson was the first Candy Striper to receive a pin for 1,000 hours of service. At this time, Betty Franks and Reba Wessell are co-coordinators of the program. Each spring, around May, application forms are distributed to the local schools. Once accepted, Candy Stripers start volunteering at the hospital the first part of June. Duties include giving out menus to patients, filling water jugs for patients, transporting patients via wheelchairs to vehicle once discharged, answering admission calls, taking mail to patients and filling other duties as assigned.

The opportunity to volunteer in a Medical Center is important in the recruitment of youth into medical fields and as future AMMC Auxiliary members. Many medical professionals, whether it be RN's, LPN's, or MD's, began their medical careers as Candy Stripers.