The St. Catherine Hospital Auxiliary held its annual Tea & Donation event on Tuesday, July 26, 2016 to present more than $131,000 to scholars and various services throughout the hospital.
It was the second largest donation the auxiliary has made over a span of 56 years: Since 2008, more than $1 million has been raised by the auxiliary. The $138,000 fund raising record was set in 2015.
Each year, the auxiliary asks management to submit a wish list for new equipment or amenities that improve the operation of a department, patient care and satisfaction. Most often, the request is for equipment to make patients more comfortable during a medical procedure or hospital stay.
Departments that benefited from the fund raising efforts of the auxiliary in 2016 include: Acute and Cardiac Rehabilitation; Behavioral Health Services; Emergency Department; Environmental Services; Family Birthing Center; Hospitality & Nutrition; Home Health Care; IMCU; Laboratory; Outpatient Therapy; Respiratory Care; Surgical Services; Women’s Imaging Department and units in the hospital known as Five West and Six West.
The donations, raised through thousands of hours of volunteer work, Gift Shop sales and fund-raising by auxiliary members and employees, are viewed at St. Catherine Hospital departments and staff as their Christmas in July.
“Raising the funds takes a lot of time and involves a lot of hard work by the auxiliary,” said retiring CEO Jo Ann Birdzell. “We are thankful for the true grit of this small, but mighty auxiliary. These members never stop. Every day, their focus is on ways to raise funds to improve patient care and satisfaction on every level.”
Joining Birdzell in congratulating the auxiliary for the donations were Joe Costanza, president of the Board of Directors of St. Catherine Hospital, and Paula Swenson, Chief Nursing Officer.
One of the largest single donation, $19,000, will support scholarships to 18 students who live in the primary service area of St. Catherine Hospital for the 2016-17 school year to pursuing careers in health care, or elevate their medical training.
The donations will pay for Comfort Baskets in ICU; toys and games to entertain pediatric patients; a swing away wheelchair and pediatric exam table with a digital scale for the emergency room, a sleeper chair in Six West; a peritoneal dialysis fluid warmer; cross trainers in Cardiac Rehab for patients who are obese or suffer from acute arthritis.
A voice-activated manikin system for CPR training will be purchased with the funds; as will a Snozelen Room system to help calm Older Adult patients when they become distressed.
The Scholarship program is also funded by the hospital's Wings of Healing program.
Those interested in joining the Auxiliary at St. Catherine Hospital should call 219-392-7031.