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Mary Bullion

Volunteer Spotlight - Mary Bullion

Mary Bullion’s compassionate spirit and gentle touch have helped calm countless patients at Phoebe over the last 23 years. She began volunteering in our Emergency Center in 1994, not long after she moved to Albany when her husband Jim became rector at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, and she has been a fixture in the EC since.

The EC is not always an easy place to volunteer. “If you work here, you have to be prepared for sad situations and distressed families,” Mary said.  “The people who come in here frequently are very apprehensive. I try to be soothing and reassure them that the staff is taking good care of their family member.”

She also brings that calming nature to cancer patients in our infusion center where she also volunteers once a week. In 2012, she was one of a handful of volunteers who piloted a Relaxation Therapy/Gentle Touch program. By offering hand massages and simply laying her hands on a patient’s head or abdomen, she helps relieve their anxiety and reduce their stress.

Mary is active in her church and has been a great supporter of the arts in Albany, serving on the boards of Theatre Albany and the Albany Symphony Orchestra and singing in the Albany Chorale for many years. No matter how many other activities she was involved in over the years, she always found time to serve others at Phoebe. “I find this a place where people are very caring and compassionate and try to put patients first,” Mary said.

The EC staff see Mary as a vital part of their team. They say she is perceptive about what is going on around her and knows how to assist them without getting in the way. They recognize how much she cares about the patients and their families, and they have great respect for her skills and dedication.

“I have always believed in community-based hospitals,” Mary said. “Phoebe has a very important role here. With all the stresses on the medical system, there will be a continued need for not-for-profit hospitals in communities. I’m in favor of the community getting the benefits of the money a hospital brings in, not stockholders.” Mary encourages others to volunteer at the hospital, and we are grateful she has chosen to be part of the Phoebe Family.