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Christie seeks to teach others about science, medicine

By: Shannon Sarino, National Museum of Health and Medicine

Delores Christie has a long-standing interest in science and the medical field, something she enjoys imparting on tour groups.

"I love to give tours," she said. "It’s an opportunity to disseminate knowledge to others about science and medicine. I especially lean towards the brain room more than anything else, because of the mysteries of the brain."

Christie, a National Museum of Health and Medicine (NMHM) volunteer docent since 2007, is a generous and admired member of the docent program.

Volunteer docents provide education and interpretive support for NMHM’s programming. Docents support tours, outreach and family programs. Through NMHM’s educational programs, the museum inspires and promotes interest in the understanding of medicine—past, present and future—with a special emphasis on American military medicine. With a vast collection of more than 25 million objects and a diversity of visitors, volunteers at NMHM are provided with a unique and rewarding experience.

"Delores is a vital part of the docent corps," said Gwen Nelmes, tour program coordinator. "She engages in meaningful and interesting discussions, and is enthusiastic and happy about her volunteer duties at the museum. We are lucky to have her expertise and excitement in the program."

In addition to her NMHM volunteer work, Christie is very involved with Lions International.

"I volunteer with the Lions to conduct eye screenings in [Washington] D.C. public and charter schools," she said. "We also conduct hearing and glaucoma exams."

In her professional life, Christie worked for the Department of Health and Human Services for more than 40 years. She also attended the Mini-Medical School at Georgetown University for three years.

"I just have such a strong interest in the science and medical fields," she said. "I welcome any opportunity to share that with others, and the museum gives me the perfect place to be able to impart that information."

"My favorite artifact in the museum would have to be the wall of the Balad Hospital," currently on display in an exhibit on advances in military medicine, she said. "I love the floor, but the wall with the scribbles and doodles of the medical professionals who served in Balad…we can’t forget them. They are the ones that care for our sick and wounded, and they are also heroes in every sense of the word."

If you are interested in military medicine, history or have a general love of museums, join NMHM as a volunteer docent! Candidates must be at least 21 years of age and have a flexible schedule. Volunteer open houses will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, from 1-2 p.m., and on Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, from 1-4 p.m. Volunteer trainings will be held Oct. 6-10, 2014, from 9 a.m.-noon, and on Oct. 4, 2014, from 1-4 p.m. For more information, call 301-319-3312.

 

Caption: Delores Christie, volunteer docent at the National Museum of Health and Medicine (NMHM), gives tours, participates in public programs, and does NMHM outreach activities. She began volunteering at NMHM, she said, because of her interest in science and medicine.