No One Dies Alone - Programs - Eskenazi Health

No One Dies Alone (NODA) is a national volunteer-centered program started in 2001 by Peace Health in Eugene, Ore. It has since been adopted and adapted for use at the Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital. Eskenazi Health’s goal is to provide companionship and support for dying, hospitalized individuals so that no patient ever dies alone.

To accomplish this, compassionate companions are notified when patients in the hospital are passing away without loved ones by their bedside. The companions come to the hospital and stay with the patients, rotating through three-hour shifts, to ensure they are not left alone in their final moments. During the shifts, the compassionate companions can talk to the patient, hold his or her hand or just serve as a caring presence in the room.

  • Who Can Volunteer?

    The program is looking for interested, caring members of the community, including current hospital volunteers for other programs, to serve as compassionate companions. Because of the nature of the program, volunteers must be older than 18 years of age and must not have experienced a recent death of a close friend or family member.

  • Training and Volunteering

    Volunteers will undergo both hospital and program training. No nursing skill is necessary to volunteer, but the program does require a two-hour introductory training session and a one-hour orientation session before qualifying to serve as a NODA companion. In addition, applicants will also undergo criminal history background checks and health checks along with being asked to complete online learning modules during the onboarding process.

    This training is to promote the safety of both our volunteers and patients in addition to helping make the vigil experience a positive one for everyone involved. After completing training, companions are asked to provide their hours of availability. It is important to note that the need for companions will not be the same each week.

    When hospital shift coordinators decide that a patient would benefit from compassionate companions, they contact the NODA volunteer phone coordinator, who notifies the companions who have signed up for that day. The notified companions then begin to come in, one by one, for a series of three-hour shifts. Patients are then surrounded by compassion and care until they pass.

    Companions serve as a patient’s surrogate family, providing them with dignity, respect and the knowledge that they are a valued member of the community. Volunteers may be called upon by shift coordinators when patients meet the following criteria:

    • Patient is on comfort care only
    • Has a “do not resuscitate” status
    • Is expected to pass away within 24-72 hours
    • Does not have local family or friends
    • Does not have family or friends involved and present
  • Getting Involved

    NODA is a volunteer-driven program. It cannot exist without the support of people like you. If you are interested in volunteering as an individual or to learn more about the Eskenazi Health NODA program and opportunities to get involved, please contact the NODA volunteer program coordinator at or 317.880.8263. The program coordinator will invite you to attend an orientation program.  After you attend the program, you must complete the application process by clicking here.

    A representative from the program is also happy to come and speak with groups or organizations regarding volunteering.

  • NODA in Other Locations

    This NODA program is housed specifically within Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis, IN. However, similar programs exist nationwide, though there is no central directory. If you are interested in volunteering for a NODA program in your local area, please search the internet or contact your local hospital. 

    If a NODA program does not exist in your area, Peace Health in Eugene, Oregon, can help you start one. NODA began at Peace Health and the organization has materials available for purchase to help start local programs. Click here for more information.
    Members of the NODA program at Eskenazi Health are available to share resources and advice with those interested in starting a program. Please contact us at for more information.
headingtoline link-1-arrow minus next-arrow plus prev-arrrow radio-off select-icons radio-on