Auxiliaries make thousands in donations

Contributed To The Press • Sep 12, 2015 at 6:20 PM

Johnson City Medical Center recently received a donation of $50,000 from the Washington County, TN, Auxiliary, which will go toward upgrades and new furnishings in several of the hospital’s waiting and consult rooms.

The auxiliary is a group of volunteers who staff the gift shop and do other helpful duties at the hospital like driving courtesy carts, manning the information desk or serving as patient ambassadors. 

The not-for-profit organization donates proceeds from the gift shops, from Einstein’s coffee and bagel shops and from various special sales to benefit patients and families.

“Winston Churchill said ‘We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give,’ ” said Melody Trimble, VP/​CEO of the Washington County Market, which includes JCMC. 

“When I think of our volunteers, this quote comes to mind. We have the privilege to be surrounded by men and women who are truly living our mission — being a ‘servant leader.’ They each provide such wisdom, grace and mentorship to each of us, our patients, their families and the community we serve. We are blessed to have each of them as a partner in our hospitals.

“It is such a privilege and a blessing for our hospitals to have each of them as a partner.”

The funds will be used to purchase new furnishings for the intensive care unit waiting room for the comfort of families of the patients, to refurbish furnishings in the waiting rooms of the Heart Hospital section of JCMC and to add four new consult chairs for the surgery consult rooms.

The Mountain States Auxiliary is celebrating its 35th anniversary, dating back to when the Johnson City Medical Center, Mountain States’ flagship hospital, began its program in 1980 with $99.84 in its checking account. Over the years, as Mountain States has grown to include 13 hospitals, the auxiliary has expanded to serve all those hospitals.

This year the Mountain States Auxiliary donated $142,360 to its hospitals. Over the course of the auxiliary’s history it has given back an estimated $3 million, including more than $700,000 in nursing scholarships. 

It has proven to be rewarding not just for the hospitals and patients but also for the volunteers themselves.

“Volunteers share their valued time with our patients and families, and in doing so, find that their own lives are deeply enriched,” said Lynnis Hornsby, corporate director for Volunteer/​Auxiliary Resources at Mountain States. 

“There are so many ways to give back. Money is one way, but giving your time as a volunteer is also really important. If you want to help people, give the gift of time — be a volunteer.”

Johnson City Medical Center is in need of courtesy cart drivers, patient ambassadors and volunteers to work in the gift shop.

Giving and volunteering are also big at the company’s other area hospitals:

• Franklin Woods Community Hospital recently received a donation of $7,900 from its Auxiliary, which will go toward the purchase of recliners for patient rooms.

“Words can’t describe our team’s thanks to our auxiliary for the very thoughtful donation,” said Lindy White, Franklin Woods VP/​CEO. 

“These dollars have been attributed to promoting patient safety and our culture of high reliability. Our clinical team is very grateful and our patients will be the beneficiaries of these dollars.

“We couldn’t do what we do every day in our facilities without the help of our volunteers. We consider them an integral part of our team.”

Franklin Woods is in need of courtesy cart drivers and volunteers to work in the gift shop and in the surgery waiting room.

• Sycamore Shoals Hospital in Elizabethton recently received a donation of $2,560 from the hospital’s Auxiliary, which will go toward the purchase of a new Dinamap device that reads a patient’s vital signs.

“Every year, the auxiliary provides crucial things for us that help our patients,” said Dwayne Taylor, VP and CEO at Sycamore Shoals. “We appreciate not only the financial contributions our auxiliary makes to the hospital, but also the commitment of their time and talents.”

The Dinamap can obtain a quick reading of the patient’s blood pressure and heart rate, or can be hooked up to the patient to obtain continuous readings over prolonged periods.

Sycamore Shoals is in need of volunteers to assist families on nursing units and bake cookies for family members.

• Unicoi County Memorial Hospital in Erwin recently received a donation of $16,000 from its Auxiliary, which will go toward the purchase of new equipment and furnishings for various departments at the hospital.

This year, the funds from the Auxiliary will be used to purchase a new range for the UCMH dietary department, provide a warming blanket chamber and a fireplace for the long-term care, buy two recliners for the med/​surgery department and provide several other much-needed items.

Unicoi County Memorial Hospital is in need of volunteers to work the gift shop, serve as patient ambassadors and interact with residents in the long-term care facility by playing games, reading to them or just visiting.

For more information about Mountain States Auxiliary, or to see about volunteering at JCMC, Franklin Woods or Unicoi County Memorial Hospital, call 431-2325. To check on volunteering at Sycamore Shoals, call Sharon Sheppard at 542-1338.

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