Best Buddies

At this time, all Duke Hospital Volunteer Programs have been suspended due to COVID. Please refer to the Duke Hopsital Volunteer Services Website for updates. 

Best Buddies Volunteer Program

The Family Support Program has offered the Best Buddy volunteer program to patients and families since 1997. Best Buddy volunteers can provide an addition social support to the PTCT patients and families by helping to offset feelings of isolation and loneliness. Best Buddies are trained as Duke Hospital Patient Experience Volunteers, and then are assigned to a family as a Best Buddy.

How do Best Buddies help?

  • Provide respite care on the PTCT inpatient unit while parents/caregivers spend time away. 
  • Help bring a welcome change of activities, conversation, and social interaction.

How are Best Buddies trained?

Best Buddy volunteers comply with all Duke Hospital policies including passing a health screening and background check to ensure that they are approved to work with a pediatric population. In addition, volunteers are required to get an annual flu shot and any other vaccinations required for our immunosuppressed patient population. Volunteers participate in onsite training through volunteer services and the Family Support program. Once trained, PTCT Family Support staff will assigned these volunteers to work with a specific family during their in-hospital stay. This is not a clinical volunteer experience and volunteers do not have access to any medical information.  There is no shadowing component to the Best Buddy program.

Where do Best Buddies serve?

Best Buddies help inpatient with PTCT patients and families while they are receiving treatment here at Duke. They can spend time with patients in their room, walk laps together in the hallway, or enjoy activities in the Connection Playroom.

For more information about the Duke PTCT Best Buddy Volunteer Program, contact Julie Watson.


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