Sunday, April 13, 2008

Our Auxiliary gem

We see all around us the good they do, but we may not always recognize how varied are the works of the Auxiliary at our hospital and within our community. [1]

Last week the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) shined a spotlight on the Auxiliary with its Advocacy Recognition Award.

HANYS recognized the Auxilians for all their work – the preventive health screening they conduct within the community, their health care scholarships, the car seat identification program, their support of hospital volunteers, the library cart for patients, as well as the financial assistance the Auxiliary provides to purchase equipment for patients. Last year, for example, the new waiting room furniture in the Emergency Department was purchased with funds donated by the Auxiliary.

A few years ago one of our doctors was at Van Duyn Home and Hospital, our campus neighbor. A nurse told him how grateful she was, these many years later, for the scholarship help the Auxiliary gave her to become a nurse.

One of the more visible parts of the Auxiliary is the main lobby gift shop which provides snacks, sundries, and gifts for patients.

Other examples of the Auxiliary at work? Auxilians maintain the flower beds that make the front of Community General Hospital so pleasant each spring and summer. They sponsor the Holiday Lights on the Hill program each year, helping families and friends honor and memorialize their loved ones during the holiday season. The Auxiliary holds an annual golf tournament, and it provides sales events throughout the year to help employees, volunteers, physicians, and visitors shop for books, toys, clothing, linens, flowers, and jewelry.

Auxilians are especially proud because their organization predates our hospital on Onondaga Hill. The first Auxilians went door-to-door in 1962, inviting friends and neighbors to join them. The then newly-formed Auxiliary led tours at Community for donors and community groups in the months leading up to our opening, January 1, 1963.

This is the second time HANYS has recognized the Auxiliary for its work on behalf of patients at Community General and within the greater Syracuse community. And just last year, the Community Genmeral Foundation saluted the Auxiliary for its 45-year service record at our hospital.

Please acknowledge Dottie DeSimone, Auxiliary President, along with the Auxiliary Board and all Auxilians for the time and energy and funds they contribute to make Community a better place for patients. Please thank Krtistin Dombroske, Director of Volunteers, and her staff for their work in support of the Auxilians. And thank you, HANYS, for shining your light on our Auxiliary gem.

[1] This posting includes some material about the Auxiliary from a previous posting.

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