Riverside Regional Medical Center

Riverside Compassionate Companions is a hospital volunteer program that provides a caring presence for patients who are dying alone in the hospital. These bedside companions offer quiet reading, hand-holding and similar comforting actions. With the support of the nursing staff, the presence of these Compassionate Companions helps provide patients with that most valuable of human gifts: a dignified death.

About the program

Riverside’s Compassionate Companions program began in 2019. It is based on a program called No One Dies Alone, started by Sandra Clarke, CCRN, a critical care nurse at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eugene, Oregon. The lonely death of one of her elderly patients led Sandra to the notion of a volunteer companion program for those who would otherwise die alone.


All Compassionate Companions undergo required training that is modeled after the No One Dies Alone program. It prepares these volunteers for holding vigil at the hospital bedside of the patient who is dying. The heart of the work is about being rather than doing and requires considerable personal and spiritual maturity.


  • At least a three-month history with Volunteer Services or Riverside Hospice
  • Sensitivity to, concern for, and empathy with spiritual needs of patients
  • Ability to sit for long periods of time
  • At least 18-years-old

More information

Compassionate Companions
Jennifer Hughes, Volunteer Coordinator