Nikki Burgess-West Named UAMS Cancer Institute Volunteer of the Year

By Susan Van Dusen

“Nikki goes out of her way to be a special friend to those in need,” said Janie Lowe, director of Volunteer Services and Auxiliary at the Cancer Institute. “She reaches out to our patients and makes them feel welcome and more at ease.”

For almost nine years, Burgess-West has served as a volunteer at the Cancer Institute, donating hundreds of hours serving others. In recognition of her efforts, she was named the auxiliary’s 2019 Volunteer of the Year at the annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon Oct. 24. The luncheon was hosted by auxiliary member Gretchen Leech at her Little Rock home.

“Nikki is truly a jack of all trades. She is a compassionate and understanding woman who can assess a situation and do what needs to be done. In her gentle and understanding way, she gives our patients hope, love, honor and respect,” Lowe told the crowd of about 40 guests, including Burgess-West’s husband, Mark West, and daughter Jurnee Taylor.

The Cancer Institute Auxiliary has about 500 members, more than half of whom volunteer on a regular basis in the waiting areas and gift shop or help with special events throughout the year.

Each year, the auxiliary names one outstanding volunteer as Volunteer of the Year. These volunteers give unselfishly of their time and talents to improve the lives of cancer patients and their families.