When the current Lompoc Valley Medical Center was opened, Yvonne Cooper was among those who answered the call for volunteers. She’s been a “Blue Coat” volunteer for about seven years, taking the Wednesday afternoon shift.

“I love volunteering, plan pure and simple,” said Yvonne, who became a Registered Nurse in 1959, and maintains an active license. “I wanted to give back."

Yvonne worked as an RN at the former Lompoc hospital site in the 1960s and during summers in the early 1970s. For 35 years, she was a school nurse with the Lompoc Unified School District and later became director of the LUSD Adult Education’s Licensed Vocational Nursing program.

“I look forward to spending time as a volunteer because it helps me serving other people,” she says. “I like giving them a smile and giving them a feeling of welcome. I enjoy people – reaching out to them and making them feel comfortable.”

Being helpful is part of her character, she says, calling herself an “encourager.” “I reassure them we’re here to take care of them,” she says. “That’s what it’s all about. We treat them with kindness and patience.”