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Meet the Staff

The volunteer program at UCLA began in 1955, just a few months after the Medical Center officially opened. The program was designed to assist the Medical Center in its threefold mission of patient care, education, and research — and that remains the goal of the program today. The role of the volunteer is not to replace, but to supplement the regular professional staff, freeing them to provide the best medical, nursing and support services to patients.

Volunteers add the extra dimensions of empathy, sensitivity, warmth, and friendliness that ease and brighten a patient’s hospital stay and clinic visit.

UCLA’s volunteers are very special people who choose to share their time and talents helping others. Each volunteer in his or her own way helps enhance the Center’s quality patient care.

Kathy Sipes   Volunteer Services Manager - Elaine Eastwood
Elaine Eastwood is a UCLA graduate in English Literature and has been SM- UCLA Volunteer Manager since 2007.  Elaine was most recently the Concierge and Volunteer Services Manager at Century City Doctors Hospital.  Prior to that she has ten years of hospitality experience as a Les Clefs D'Or Chef Concierge and has opened such luxury hotels as Shutters on the Beach and JW Le Merigot Hotel and Spa in Santa Monica. Elaine is the editor of the Auxiliary Newsletter.
Silva Thomas  

Care Extender Director - Silva Thomas
Silva Thomas is a UCLA graduate in the field of biochemistry. She started working at SM - UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital in November of 1996 as a Care Extender Intern. After 4 years of being a volunteer, Silva took on the Manager role and is now the Director for the Program. She also oversees the Intern Program designed for students interested in Healthcare Administration.




Care Extender Manager - Stephanie Hinojosa
Stephanie Hinojosa graduated from Loyal Marymount University with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration. She previously worked in Operations for the David Geffen School of Medicine.  Stephanie assumed the role of Care Extender Manager in September of 2013.