Auxiliary Board members: Top row, Judy Dudziak, Betty Myers, Susan Friar, President Carol Pyburn and Dorene Marsh. Bottom row, Sharrie Baker, Barbara Honey, Annette Hiteman, Kathleen Hoverson and Vice President Carol Watanabe. Courtesy/LAMC
The Hospital Auxiliary of the Los Alamos Medical Center has been an integral part of the hospital and community for more than 60 years.
The ladies (and yes, sometimes gentlemen) who wear the pink or red jackets have worked tirelessly as Hospital partners in education (both within the facility as well as in the community) and in providing support for patients in ways small and large. Auxiliary volunteers have become so familiar in hospitals that people simply become used to seeing them as they visit or come in for treatments. However this organization is a true testament to volunteerism at its finest.
Auxiliary members’ responsibilities have grown over the years from staffing phones and giving directions to receiving orientation in safety procedures and wheelchair operation. You can find them handing out cake at special occasions, escorting a patient down from the OR after a procedure, or directing patients and visitors to locations within the hospital. Dedicated Auxilians also oversee the Junior Volunteer program, which gives high school students the opportunity to work in a healthcare environment.
They are, however, seen most often working in their busiest station, The Auxiliary Gift Shop – a must stop-n-shop at the hospital. Not only does it provide fun and unusual gifts, it also generates funds for services that the general public may not be aware the Auxiliary offers.
LAMC’s Auxiliary Gift Shop funds support for several community programs and the hospital: scholarships for local students, the Community Health Aid fund, and the purchase of educational materials for teaching nursing certifications to LAMC nursing staff. LAMC’s clinical education department was also gifted in recent years with an infant manikin that allows the teaching of hands-on skills to staff.
Other Volunteer programs include the making of newborn baby caps that are given to each newborn that arrives at LAMC, as well as pediatric patient teddy bears. Tears and fears can’t hold out against a cuddly teddy bear! Auxiliary Gift Shop profits have allowed for more than $28,000.00 to be distributed by the Community Health Aid Committee in medical and pharmacy aid, educational materials and scholarships this year.
LAMC Chief Executive Officer Feliciano Jiron said of the group, “Thank you for all you do. The Los Alamos Medical Center Hospital Auxiliary are partners for the community good.”