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Hospital volunteer shares his passion for Calgary's north and south east communities

An extraordinary  volunteer at a Calgary hospital who is brightening some patients' experience as a translator and passionate community leader has health officials hoping his story encourages more volunteers to come forward.

Mahamad Adam spends his volunteer shifts at Peter Lougheed Centre (PLC) having one-on-one check-ins with admitted patients to fill in potential communication gaps from healthcare providers.

Often times, he says his chats with a patient can brighten their day.

"They tell me about how wonderful their day was because of the 15 minutes I spent with them. But also, those 15 minutes resonate in my head as well, I learn about them," said Adam.

One patient being treated for high blood pressure two years after a double-lung transplant says volunteers have improved his experience during his current stay.

"It's good to have 'em because the paid ones are overworked so it's good to have volunteers," said Dave Bruce.

He added, "It's wonderful."


Since July 2021, Adam has offered translation services for patients in Arabic.

Since July 2021, Adam has offered translation services for patients in Arabic.

He grew up in Forest Lawn and traveled to the Sudan after high school to earn his medical degree before returning back to Calgary.

The outbreak of COVID-19 inspired him to volunteer at the Peter Lougheed Centre, the hospital nearest his childhood neighbourhood.

"I didn't want to stay on the sidelines while the doctors and nurses did wonderful work saving lives," said Adam.

He's in the midst of taking exams to become eligible for medical residency at a Canadian hospital, with the goal of becoming a doctor in the community he is passionate about.

"This is my community, I want to give back to this community specifically," he said.

Hospital officials say conversations between volunteers and patients alleviate pressure from overburdened healthcare staff.

"As we know with the nursing shortage and the pandemic, nurses don't have time to do that all the time, so our volunteers come in and provide that social stimulation," Ruby Brar, volunteer coordinator (PLC).

She hopes more volunteers will express their interest, after learning of passionate volunteers like Mahamad Adam.

"There's a wide variety of programs that we have so we are definitely looking for volunteers that want to help other people give back to their community and gain some hospital experience as well," said Brar.

Adam's advice for volunteers?

"Even kindness, a smile, goes a long way." Top Stories

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