Last year, our teen volunteer program (HTV) achieved a milestone of 20 years of service to Pinellas County.
More than 4,000 teens have participated in everything from patient support to office support to special events across our integrated network of care.
Currently about 400 teens are active volunteers. Our teens dedicate their skills, talents and passion to helping make a better quality of life for the patients and families we serve every day. Many haven’t stopped giving.
We reached out to our former teen volunteers to find out the impact of their volunteerism and what life has been like over the years. We heard back from 28, including those who were inspired to continue volunteering or enter healthcare fields.
Here’s a look into the life of Daniel “Danny” James Pruitt, then and now.
- Graduated from Osceola High School in 2002.
- Volunteered at Suncoast Hospice Care Center Mid-Pinellas (then known as Suncoast Hospice House Woodside) – I helped with kitchen duties, delivering meals, clerical work, cleaning, spending time with patients in the activities areas and more.
- Special volunteer memories – The many people I met and worked with at Suncoast Hospice were all so pleasant and most of them I keep in contact with to this day. I consider quite a few employees family and they’ve become a big part of my adult life. The patients I interacted with really left a mark.
- After high school – I first worked as a fire fighter/paramedic for Largo Fire Rescue, a SWAT paramedic for Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team and for Sunstar Paramedics part-time. I went back to school and earned my RN degree and license. I then moved to the Tallahassee area, where I’ve worked as a firefighter/paramedic for Tallahassee Fire Department, a tactical paramedic for Tallahassee Police Department and an RN for Tallahassee Memorial Hospital in the ER/Trauma Center. Additionally, I volunteer as a firefighter and serve on many committees within my fire department.
- Volunteer experience influence – Serving with Suncoast solidified my desire to want to help people. I’ve continued to grow in all my fields due to the foundations I laid. Personally, it really helped with my level of compassion and work ethic. In my career and many roles, I’ve dealt with a lot of trying experiences and many happy endings. My time spent as a young man volunteering with Suncoast really helped me learn how to cope with such experiences.
HTV Fun Fact
*HTV started as a pilot program with 20 teens in 1994.
Teens –We Need You
Know a teen interested in becoming an Empath Health volunteer? Learn more on our website.