Name: Vince Punzo
Occupation: Professor of Psychology at Earlham College
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
Hobbies/Interests: I enjoy running, reading and am a big baseball fan. My favorite team is the Chicago Cubs and I’ve seen a baseball game at over 35 different Major League stadiums.
What made you interested in hospice volunteering? I started teaching a class on death and dying at Earlham College. I realized that being a hospice volunteer would allow me to better understand the philosophy and practice of hospice care and then I could pass that knowledge along to my students.
What is your favorite thing about volunteering? The chance to get to know some truly remarkable people and those times when I am able to ease a patient’s loneliness or anxiety and bring a smile to their face.
Advice for new volunteers: Realize that each patient is different in terms of their personality, needs, and sociability. So a “one size fits all” approach to being a hospice volunteer does not work. You need to listen carefully to each particular patient and adapt yourself to what works best for that individual.