My name is Lloyd Zhao, and I was quoted in the recent article, “Duke Cancer Institute Volunteers concerned about training.” I want to begin by offering my sincere apologies to anyone affected by comments in the article. I would, however, like to make clear how I—and the vast majority of Duke Cancer volunteers—feel about training and the role we play in patients’ lives. My comments, originally presented to the interviewer in a broader context of challenges faced in a hospital setting, were meant to illustrate the variety of situations that we, as volunteers, encounter. To have been quoted as demanding of training for all social settings is absurd. No program can do that. Furthermore, I emphasized in my interview the great resource that Mr. Phillip Shoe, the coordinator of the Duke Cancer Patient Support Program, can be and has been in these situations.
When again quoted discussing my struggles with certain logistics, my comments were taken out of context. I had noted to the author the challenge of the initial transition from the old to the new building. As an example, I mentioned that I did not know the location of warm blankets in the new hospital. My aim was not to decry the re-orientation that we received for the new building but to note something I missed, which Mr. Phillip Shoe gladly helped me address.
I, in my two years with DCPSP, have never felt under-trained. Having read the article that was published by The Chronicle, I cannot help but feel hurt for our patients, families and staff who read it and lost trust in the competence of our care. It is the aim of DCPSP to provide the best possible services to patients and their families, through well-trained volunteers that are happy to provide support in any way possible.