It had not been a great Tuesday for Burbank resident Jo Mazzeo, who’d found herself dealing with several patients she described to be “less than friendly” at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center.
Despite the day’s challenges, Mazzeo said she would not be deterred from returning to Saint Joseph’s , which is where she has volunteered for 38 years.
Mazzeo, who turns 93 on June 28, has racked up more than 14,000 hours of volunteer service at the Burbank hospital, mainly helping out in the short stay section by checking in patients and providing them with amenities such as gowns and food.
“It’s no big thing as far as I’m concerned,” she said of her decades of lending a hand to the hospital.
Mazzeo, a former United Service Organizations entertainer in Hawaii and a mother of seven, mentioned she recently cut back her volunteer time at Saint Joseph’s from about 10 to 12 hours every Tuesday and Wednesday to shifts of about nine hours each on those days.
“It’s a full day, but that’s OK,” she said. “I’ve thought about retiring, but the thing about it is, if I retire, then I’d have nothing to do but to sit around and read.”
Mazzeo said that her curiosity about medicine and the fact that Saint Joseph’s is near her residence compelled her to volunteer at the hospital.
In addition to her earlier days as a USO entertainer, Mazzeo spent most of her time accompanying her husband to events, raising their children and working small retail jobs, she said. Though she was never interested in pursuing a medical career, Mazzeo said she is thankful to have had the strength and health to volunteer for the hospital for as long as she has.
“I am very grateful to God, because he has basically given me very good health,” she said.