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January 27, 1995 - Image 53

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-01-27

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Because The Mashed
Potatoes Are Great!

Bert Green encourages young adults to
volunteer at Sinai Hospital.

RUTH LITTMANN STAFF WRITER

B

ert Green has one groan-
er of a joke for patients he
serves at Sinai Hospital.

"Why don't cannibals eat
clowns?"
The answer ... Prepare your-
self ... "They taste funny," he
says.
OK. So "it's the dumbest joke
ever." Truth is, the patients at
Sinai kind of like it. "They don't
want to smile," he says "but they
do."
Mr. Green, a salesman and
veteran of community theater,
has combined his wit and char-
itable heart to spearhead a core
of young adult volunteers at
Sinai. His group gives the 20-
and 30-something crowds a
chance to assist hospital staff
while enjoying inside glimpses of
the medical field, a la television's
prime-time show, "ER."
"At Sinai, you can volunteer
in the emergency room, intensive
care unit or gift shop. There's also
administrative and security
work," he says. "There are about
40 different areas for volunteers
to help."
Mr. Green has contributed
more than 1,000 hours of volun-
teer work since beginning at
Sinai in 1989. His inspiration
came from his teen-age experi-
ence as a candy-striper at Uni-
versity of Michigan Hospital in
Arm Arbor.
"I loved being a candy-striper,"
he recalls. "Flirting with the
nurses ... I tend to have too much
energy and enthusiasm some-
times and I figure it can be put
to good use."
As a Sinai Guild board mem-
ber, Mr. Green has compiled a
list of "Top Ten Cool Things
About Being a Sinai Volunteer":
10. The fruit punch and cook-
ies during volunteer recognition
week.
9. It makes you feel good in-
side (and it's cheaper than writ-
ing a check!).
8. You get to wear a "uniform"
and hospital ID badge, just like
a doctor.
7. A chance to experience Sinai
cafeteria food (the mashed pota-
toes are dreamy).
6. Your choice of hours, pro-
grams, days and ideas.
5. As a volunteer, you can't be
fired.

4. Your meals and parking are
complimentary — just like a
high-roller in Vegas.
3. An easy and inexpensive
way to be a mentsh
2. Hey buddy, ever hear of
mitzvah???
And, the top coolest thing
about being a Sinai volunteer is

Mr. Green has
contributed more
than 1,000 hours of
volunteer work.

1. It's a 1990s way of tzedakah!
Mr. Green, who grew up in
Arm Arbor and graduated from
Michigan State University. is the
youngest of five children. His fa-
ther, Dr. Robert, is a physician
and professor at U-M's school of
medicine. His mom, Lila, is a hu-
morist and published author.
Mr. Green encourages young
adults, single or married, to con-
sider volunteering six to 10 hours
a month at Sinai for reasons be-
yond his "top ten." For him, lift-

ing patients' spirits has worked
in reverse.
"It sounds cliche," he says.
"People have asked me, Why do
you volunteer?' I tell them it re-
ally pays back. There have been
so many days when I've gone in
after a long day at work and I'll
actually come out feeling more
refreshed and energized_...
"Volunteering makes you re-
alize that you should be happy
for what you have and not take
it for granted."
Mr. Green also says his expe-
riences have introduced him to
a multiethnic forum where, peo r,
ple don't judge him according t.
color. The majority of Sinai's pa-
tients are black or Jewish. -
"The patients don't care if I'm
white or black," he says. "They
care that I care about them."
As for those mashed potatoes,
they keep Mr. Green coming
back. His mantra in the dinner
line: "I'll have the mashed pota-
toes and gravy — with a side of
mashed potatoes." [1
123. For more information about
being a Sinai volunteer; call Elsa
Silverman in the Guild office,
(313) 493-5300, or Bert Green's
voice mail at (313) 458-8589.

Pulse

Healthy Events
Community-Wide

Alzheimer's
St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in
Pontiac and the Alzheimer's
Disease and Related Disorders
Association are offering a sup-
port group for family members
who are caring for persons with
Alzheimer's disease. Meetings
are held the first Tuesday of
every month from 1 to 3 p.m.
in the hospital's Xavier Pavil-
ion. The meetings are free and
open to the public. For more in-
formation, call (810) 858-3020.

Health-O-Rama
Sinai Hospital will host Project
Health-O-Rama from 9 a.m. to
6 p.m. March 24 in the hospi-
tal's main lobby. Free health
screenings include height and
weight, cholesterol, blood pres-
sure, glaucoma, dental and oral
health. Low-cost screenings in-
clude a 21-test blood panel,
prostate specific antigen and
take-home colorectal screen-
ing. For more information, call
1-800-248-3627.

Infertility
William Beaumont Hospital
will offer a free program on the
causes and common treat-
ments for infertility, including
in vitro fertilization. The pro-
gram will be held from 7 to 9
p.m. on Feb. 6 in the adminis-
tration building in Royal Oak.
For more information and to
pre-register, call (810) 551-
0515.

Menopause
Crittenton Hospital will offer
a free discussion on "Women
and Menopause — Hormone
Replacement Therapy Or
Not," from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Feb. 18. To register, call (810)
652-5269.

Eating Disorders
William Beaumont Hospital
will offer programs to educate
the public about eating disor-
ders. From 7 to 8:30 p.m. on
Feb. 6, therapists will discuss
high-risk groups and how low
self-esteem can lead to eating
disorders. From 7 to 8:30 p.m.
on Feb. 8, physicians will dis-
cuss long-term physical effects
of eating disorders. From 7 to
8:30 p.m. on Feb. 10, patients
will discuss challenges faced on
the road to recovery. All events
are free. They will be held in the
hospital's administration build-
ing in Room 1. For more infor-
mation, call (810) 551-9700.

Kids
Sinai Hospital will sponsor
Kids Fair, a community-wide
event coordinated by the Jew-
ish Community Center of Met-
ropolitan Detroit. Sinai will
exhibit a mini-hospital at the
Children's Expo, which is
scheduled from 11 a.m. to 4
p.m. Jan. 29 at the Palace of
Auburn Hills.
The mini-hospital will feature
a big-foot bunny clinic where
children can bring dolls and
stuffed animals for an "exam-
ination" by Sinai pediatricians
and family practitioners, a
neonatal intensive care unit,
and a physical medicine and
rehabilitation station offering
hands-on activities for children
to learn about hearing loss and
coping with physical disabili-
ties. For more information, call
(313) 493-5895.

Abuse
Richard Tolman, an associate
professor with the University
of Michigan School of Social
Work, will present a talk on
family violence, sponsored by
the Washtenaw County Jew-
ish Family Service. Geared to
mental health professionals, it
will be held at 10 a.m. Jan. 29
at the Washtenaw County
Jewish Community Center.
For more information, call
(313) 971-3280.

AIDS
The 16th annual Alicia Joy
Techner Memorial Parenting
Conference will take place at
6:30 p.m. Jan. 30 at Temple Is-
rael. The free event will feature
Tammy Boccomino, an AIDS
educator who contracted HIV
in 1983 from her first husband
who, unknown to Ms. Boc-
comino, was an IV drug user.
Her talk will begin with her
personal story. She will explain
AIDS and how to talk effec-
tively with children and teens
about this disease. She will fo-
cus on protection and dealing
with what is a growing prob-
lem. For more information, call
Temple Israel at (810) 661-
5700.

Scleroderma
The United Scleroderma Foun-
dation will host an open meet-
ing at 1 p.m. Feb. 4 in the Fisher
Auditorium in the Providence
Medical Building in Southfield.
This free event will provide an
opportunity for patients to
share information and tips on
living with scleroderma. For di-
rections and more information,
call (810) 443-0858.11

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