JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas –
A longtime volunteer is hanging up her burgundy vest after more than 36 years of service at Brooke Army Medical Center.
Joy Moore began volunteering in 1985 and was one of a core group that started the BAMC Retiree Activities Group, affectionately known as BRAG. She is also the wife of retired Army Col. Bobby Moore, Fort Sam Houston commander from 1985-1987, and a longtime volunteer at BAMC.
Michael Dulevitz, chief of the BAMC Volunteer Services Office, describes Moore as a “pioneer,” who helped establish the CareMobile program in 1990, and the driving force behind the Patient Library.
“I was volunteering at the old main hospital (on Fort Sam Houston) when I decided that we needed some libraries,” Moore said. “In those days, the hospital consisted of two buildings; the main hospital (Brooke General Hospital) and Beach Pavilion, so anything that was done at Main had to be done at Beach.”
When the new hospital was built in 1996, Moore’s patient library moved to the new building. Since then, the Patient Library has relocated six times, and each time Moore was instrumental in ensuring patients never had a lull in the books and magazines available to them, explained Dulevitz.
“Joy is a genuine, giving, empathetic, and compassionate person,” Dulevitz said. “That’s why she was here – to help with healing; to help people.”
Both the Moores drove the CareMobile, shuttling patients to and from the parking lot to the entrances and back.
“Joy drove one day a week, week in and week out, rain, cold or shine for 17 years,” Dulevitz said. “From the old gas carts at Brooke General and Beach Pavilion to the new electric version at the new BAMC, she has driven them all.”
“That was the most fun,” she said. “No matter what the weather, of course, the weather in San Antonio is never that bad. We got to meet and talk to so many people. It’s nice to give them that kindness while you’re driving them up to the door. It was nice to get acquainted with folks.”
During her time at BAMC, Moore said she enjoyed getting to know the patients and staff.
“I greatly appreciated that everyone treats the volunteers like they are part of the staff,” she said. “Many of the volunteers are completely dedicated to their positions at BAMC. Such loyalty is impressive.
“I’m also, of course, a patient at BAMC, and I have never seen such kind, compassionate medical folks,” Moore said. “I’m speaking as a volunteer, but I’m also speaking as a patient. They are just so caring and so helpful. There is a lot to be said for that.”
She encourages others to volunteer if they have an opportunity.
“The Volunteer Services Office staff is always available to help and support the volunteers,” Moore said. “Anytime we need them or we want to talk, they are there.”
Dulevitz said she will be greatly missed, but he understands why the 80-plus-year-old needs to step away from her volunteer service at BAMC.