A Volunteer Story: Sue Diegelman
4/11/2019 2:36 PM
After spending her entire professional life in healthcare, Sue spent all of two months enjoying retirement before deciding to volunteer at CTMC. She jumped right in, working three shifts per week all over the hospital. In her 15 years of volunteering here, she has spent time with the marketing department, hospice and in the gift shop, but Sue quickly realized her favorite post to work was the front lobby.
“The front desk is the most critical place for a volunteer to be because that’s the first impression people have. You greet them, ask them how they’re doing, escort them to where they need to be and interact along the way,” she explained.
It’s not only on the way in that Sue tries to make an impression, but on the way out as well. She tries to catch people before they leave to make sure that they got everything they needed today, be it their own healthcare or a nice visit with a loved one.
“We make an impression of what our mission is about: extending the healing ministry of Jesus Christ. The volunteers truly embody that.” Sue explained that she and the other volunteers work hard to ensure that not only in the good times but in the tough ones too. Sometimes there are people with tear-streaked cheeks that come through her lobby and something as simple as a hug can go a long way.
“It’s not just patients and families we serve, employees have hard days too. Sometimes I’ll notice an employee come down and sit in the chapel quietly, reflecting on their day or something going on in their life, and I just like to check in. ‘How are you?’ ‘Can I get you a cup of coffee or a glass of water or a shoulder to cry on?’ At our age, we’re adopted grandparents. So if it’s easier to talk to someone who looks like your grandma, I’m here.”
A Texas-native, Sue was born in Amarillo and spent most of her adolescence in Dallas. She was a dancer her entire life, and up until recently taught tap in San Marcos, but one of her fondest memories was being a Kilgore College Rangerette, one of the nation’s first college precision dance teams. Sue recalls performing at the Cotton Bowl and at Soldier Field in Chicago with a big smile on her face.
Upon graduation she began her career on the business side of the healthcare industry. During her decades long career, she was the Director of Business at Bexar County Hospital (now University Medical) in San Antonio, was an administrator at a home health agency in Austin and managed a grant for high-risk infants with the University of Texas.
All of this led her to where she is today: a 15-year veteran CTMC volunteer, a three-time President of the CTMC Auxiliary, the wife of a wonderful husband, a mother and grandmother active in the Silver Sneakers program. She certainly shows no signs of slowing down.
“I plan to keep doing this as long as I can.”
To learn how you can volunteer, visit CTMC.org/giving/volunteer or call 512.753.3685.