In celebration of Volunteer Week, OHSU Brain Institute volunteers are “taking over” the blog to share their unique perspective.
First up: Patricia O’Shea, who volunteers at our Brain Resource Center and is an active member of BRAINet.
Why did you become a volunteer for OHSU?
I attended some of the first Brain Awareness events, back when they were held at OMSI.
I’ve always been a very curious person with a strong interest in neuroscience.
I started out volunteering at the OHSU Brain Fair and then became a member of BRAINet, eventually landing here at the resource center.
How long have you volunteered in this position?
I am in my fifth year as a volunteer. There are currently two of us and we could use one more. I work about 4-6 hours per week. It keeps me feeling useful, productive and I’m exposed to a wide circle of very interesting people.
What does your position entail?
I maintain the free resources for OHSU patients regarding various neurological conditions. I always jump up to help patients with whatever they need that day. Sometimes, I’m helping facilitate and orient them to where they can learn more about their condition. I can help explain their condition, but I never give medical advice.
Other times, I’m helping out-of-town visitors get around Portland. I talk to everyone, human-to-human, and help where I can, even if it’s just finding someone a glass of water.
What’s the best thing about being a volunteer?
It’s a very exciting time in brain development research. There are incredible advancements that have been made in imaging techniques and other research that informs the development of targeted therapies. Researchers are chipping away at finding the underlying causes of various brain disorders. People should feel very hopeful.
The Brain Resource Center is located on the 8th floor of the Center for Health and Healing.