ELIZABETHTOWN - The Elizabethtown Community Hospital Auxiliary is donating over $10,000 worth of new items to the hospital.
Thanks to the hard work and dedication of auxiliary members and through the generosity of the community, the group was able to raise over $12,000 in 2009. These funds are used toward the purchase of items that hospital managers weren't able to include in departmental budgets.
According to Laura Sells-Doyle, auxiliary president, the members enjoy being part of a group that is both conscientious and generous.
"Every penny that we raise is accounted for; we track expenses and profits diligently," she said "At the end of the year, we put all proceeds toward patient care items; or items that may make a department work just a bit more efficiently. It's incredibly rewarding."
This year, the Elizabethtown Community Hospital Auxiliary is donating items that will improve both patient experience and staff productivity.
The new chemotherapy and infusion unit will be receiving individual TVs that attach to each chair so that patients can choose their favorite show while receiving treatment. The medical records department is receiving carts to make the transport of medical charts and records much easier.
The Westport Health Center will be receiving new waiting room furniture which, according to Manager Robin Dunning, will be a welcome addition to the facility.
"It will make the space so much more inviting for patients," said Dunning. "We're absolutely thrilled."
The last purchase for 2009 won't be installed until the spring of 2010. The auxiliary has decided to help improve the patio space adjacent to the hospital's inpatient unit. The auxiliary plans to purchase fence extensions to provide additional square footage, along with a beautiful awning to offer a shady spot for relaxing.
"There's no doubt that access to fresh air and sunshine helps patients both physically and emotionally," said Victoria Savage, nurse manager of the inpatient unit. "We can't wait to spruce up the patio space this spring."
Hospital Administrator Rod Boula expressed his appreciation for the auxiliary's efforts.
"In my 25-year career in healthcare, I have never encountered a more active auxiliary," he said. "As a not-for-profit hospital, it's often necessary to trim budgets. There are many items that our departments would like to have but unfortunately, they are simply not top priority. It's wonderful of the auxiliary to support the hospital in this way."
Throughout the year, the auxiliary holds various fundraisers to support its cause including Dinner @ 8 and an annual Scavenger Hunt. The group sells homemade pies at Thanksgiving, makes Valentine's Day gift baskets, sells flower bulbs in the spring and organizes other fundraising events throughout the year.
The auxiliary also purchases magazine subscriptions for patients, awards an annual $500 scholarship, and stocks the Emergency Room with necessities for patients who find themselves there unexpectedly and empty-handed. In addition, the auxiliary ensures that patients receive presents on Christmas Eve.
The Elizabethtown Community Hospital Auxiliary has been in existence for over 50 years. The group meets on a monthly basis and new members are always welcome. Contact the hospital's community relations department at 873-3003 for more information.