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ArlingtonLongtime hospital volunteer lauded for community service

Longtime hospital volunteer lauded for community service

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As she makes her rounds of the emergency room at Virginia Hospital Center, transporting patients in wheelchairs and providing other critical services, Kay Nassetta wears a pedometer.

By the end of a shift, she sometimes has clocked five or six miles.

But Nassetta is not a staff member. For more than four decades, she has been a hospital volunteer, racking up more than 26,000 hours of service at the hospital, not to mention service at the Arlington Free Clinic.
With more to come.

“I’m not retiring,” she says firmly. “What better place to be than here?”
For her efforts, Nassetta on Nov. 18 received the Arlington Community Foundation’s Spirit of Volunteerism Award.


Nassetta, as a child, thought about becoming a nurse. But through her volunteerism, she has had a major impact on patients, many of them facing some of the most severe distress of their lives.

It can be an emotional challenge for those, like her, called upon to provide support.

“It could get bad,” she said of the images of patients in peril. But, she noted, “I love to give – it’s very good for me and my well-being. You’ve got to want to do it.”

And while the experience sometimes can be daunting, Nassetta said that many moments bring pure joy.

“It’s fun, it really is,” she said. “I work with wonderful people.”

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