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Melissa and John Wisehaupt Share Nearly Two Decades of Volunteer Service at Mount Nittany Health

3 min read

During National Volunteer Appreciation Week, April 21st – 27th, Mount Nittany Health is proud to recognize the contributions of our more than 115 volunteers and their nearly 6,700 hours of annual service.

Mount Nittany Health is fortunate to have dedicated volunteers like Melissa and John Wisehaupt who have supported the health system for the last 19 years.

Melissa joined the volunteer program in 2005, shortly after retiring from teaching at Bellefonte Middle School and John got involved in 2015, following two separate retirements – 35 years at the Corning Factory in State College, followed by 12.5 years at Penn State University.

Today, you’ll find both Melissa and John volunteering in the Endoscopy Unit at the Medical Center where they spend their time helping with a little bit of everything.

“I love being part of a department where I feel appreciated and like part of the team,” said Melissa. “We love the nurses and it’s really wonderful because it’s busy!”

“I find satisfaction working with the doctors, nurses, and staff, and interacting with patients,” said John. “They are so gracious and always thank us for what we do.”

As for what inspired them to get involved, Melissa shares her experience with hospital volunteer work began as a teenager when she worked as a “candy striper” – the term derived from the red-and-white striped pinafores that female volunteers traditionally wore while volunteering in hospital settings. Becoming a volunteer at the Medical Center felt like a natural extension of the work she first began as a young woman.

John shares that his inspiration for volunteering came from his father who was a longtime volunteer at Lewistown Hospital.

It has turned out to be an enriching experience for both of them.

“I just love the people,” said John. “When I take patients out for discharge, they give me hugs and handshakes.”

“Patients recognize what we are doing, and they are grateful and appreciative,” said Melissa. “The warm blankets make all the difference!”

Melissa and John encourage anyone who is interested in volunteering to give it a try.

“Start out slowly!” said Melissa. “You don’t need to fill every hour of your week. Try different things until you find something you love. If you have a compassionate and caring personality, you already have what it takes.”

Please join us in thanking Melissa and John, and all our phenomenal volunteers, for their countless contributions to our health system.

If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a volunteer, visit Questions can be directed to Monique Behrer, Volunteer Resources Supervisor, at