In August 1998, Suzanne Shuchat experienced a significant shift in her life when her husband passed away. After working alongside him for 12 years, she faced an empty void.

“I woke up one day and realized I had nothing to do,” she recalls. Seeking purpose, she called the Mount Sinai Hospital volunteer office, marking the beginning of her inspiring 25-year long volunteering journey. “The rest,” as Suzanne puts it, “is history.”

As Mount Sinai Hospital celebrates 100 years of care, it’s people like Suzanne who embody the hospital’s legacy. Suzanne’s story isn’t just about volunteering; it’s about finding purpose, overcoming challenges, and knitting sweaters for the smallest members of the Mount Sinai community.

Starting with just one day a week in the Mount Sinai Hospital Auxiliary as a volunteer, Suzanne quickly became immersed in her newfound community. “I was busy making new friends and working again,” she shares. Eventually, she was assigned to the information desk. Tending the information desk once a week with gracious warmth and kindness, she has become a trusted voice, directing patients and helping them find their way.

“Joining Mount Sinai proved to be the wisest decision I ever made. In this remarkable journey, I not only gained invaluable friends but also filled my time with purpose. As we celebrate the hospital’s 100-year anniversary, I am grateful for the enriching experiences it has brought into my life,” reflects Suzanne, who has dedicated a remarkable 13,885 hours since she first started volunteering in 1999.

In addition to her role at the information desk, Suzanne shares, “I knit tiny sweaters with matching hats for the babies coming out of the incubator. So far, I’ve handed over 200 sets.” With a smile, she added, “Our babies never went with cold heads.” Suzanne has also made sweaters for her friends who needed baby gifts. In return, she only asked for one thing: to give back to the community. “My only request is that they make a donation to the hospital.”

“We are fortunate to have our volunteers who provide service and assistance in countless areas and departments around the hospital. Volunteers of diverse age groups, from adults to students, bring varied backgrounds and experiences to our team. Each person has their own motivation for being here, but they all have one thing in common: they give the gift of their time to enhance the care of our patients.”
Theresa Shiel

Senior Manager, Volunteer Resources , Sinai Health

Suzanne proudly graced the cover of Creating a Geriatric Emergency Department, a book co-authored by Dr. Don Melady.