Hinsdale--When it comes to volunteering, Kent Ramm feels right at home at AMITA Health Adventist Medical Center Hinsdale. The retired Hinsdale resident has been volunteering at the medical center for 17 and a half years – clocking in more than 4,100 hours to date.
The father of three and grandfather of seven works twice a week in the Emergency Department (ED), where he is stationed at a desk near the entrance. He greets patients and visitors as they arrive and asks questions. Do they need care in the ED? Are they looking for another hospital department and need directions? Do they need a wheelchair?
If patients need care in the ED, Ramm directs them to a nurse who assesses their medical condition. The ED can be a busy place. As a level II trauma center, the medical center offers 24-hour emergency care, seven days a week and 365 days a year for patients of all ages.
“I’m a jack of all trades,” said Ramm, who retired as president and owner of a brick and materials company that his father founded in La Grange. Having lived in the area – including Oak Brook, La Grange and now Hinsdale for 82 years – he often recognizes individuals or their families at the hospital. He enjoys talking with people and believes it makes them feel better and more relaxed.
Why did he start volunteering? The medical center has met all of his family’s healthcare needs over the years. His wife, Patti, delivered their children there. He and his wife have doctors on staff. Kent’s parents received care at the hospital many years ago. His older brother also used to volunteer at the hospital.
“Kent is such a kind soul and a delight to work with -- nothing flusters him,” said Debbie Plica, volunteer coordinator, AMITA Health Adventist Medical Center Hinsdale. “The Emergency Department is a great place for him to volunteer. His calm demeanor, encompassed with his humorous wit, is a valuable trait to put our patients and their families at ease when their anxieties are at their highest.”
In his younger days, Ramm thought about becoming a doctor, but changed his mind and graduated with a business degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is interested in the medical field and enjoys volunteering in the healthcare environment and working with professionals.
What keeps him coming back each week? “You like to think you’re doing good. It gets me out of the house and that makes my wife happy,” said Ramm, who has been married 56 years.
Ramm is definitely a fixture in the department. “Unless it’s January or February, when he is out of town, you can always rely on Kent to be here for his shifts – no matter what the weather is or what holiday it might be,” Plica said.