After more than two decades without an auxiliary, Hillsboro Community Hospital recently started up a new group.
Velma Hadley, a retired registered nurse, serves as the president of the HCH Auxiliary with Ruby Hilt, secretary-treasurer, Elda Hiebert, co-chair and Jeri Klose, parliamentarian.
“A couple of people (in the newly formed auxiliary) had been with the former group in the 1960s and early 70s, but then (the auxiliary) faded away,” she said
When the auxiliary disbanded, Hadley said, Mike Ryan, who served as the chief executive officer at HCH, thought it would be helpful to have a volunteer group.
“Johna Magnasum, chief nursing officer, and Ryan both helped organize the volunteer group, which was in place for the past seven year,” she said.
While instrumental in starting the volunteer group, Hadley said, Ryan and Magnasum encouraged a small group of the volunteers to get reconnected with the state association and rekindle the auxiliary.
“Johna took inservice classes and was quite knowledgeable on what needed to be done (with the auxiliary),” she said.
Affiliation with state
With backing from the Hospital Auxiliaries of Kansas, Hadley said Ryan was able to secure the HCH Auxiliary as part of the allied organizations.
In addition to being part of the state organization, the local auxiliary need to have policies and constitutional guidelines.
“Everything needed to be written a certain way and (Connie O’Conner with HAK) came up here and was good with us on the phone,” she said.
According to Hadley, HAK is helpful, sending literature and guidelines to go along with what the local group wanted to do and getting auxiliary intertwined with volunteers.
Unlike McPherson’s auxiliary that has a gift shop or Marion’s auxiliary which runs a thrift store, the Hillsboro group looked at what guidelines they needed to follow in supporting its goals of meeting with patient care needs.
Prior to establishing the new auxiliary, Hadley said the local volunteer group didn’t do any fundraising.
“Early on, that group was connected with Salem Home or long-term care,” she said. “We helped (those facilities) a little bit with their activity programs since they had their own activity directors.”
The HCH Auxiliary has three retired nurses in its group. Along with Hadley, Hiebert and Eleanor Herbel are also nurses, she said.
The rest of the auxiliary is made up of volunteers concerned about patients and the betterment of the local hospital.
The auxiliary members volunteer to help Monday through Friday, Hadley said, and depending on what a patient needs or wants, they might stay with them 20 to 30 minutes a day with Swing Bed activities program.
Swing bed, Hadley explained, is when someone goes into the hospital and, according to Medicare, are allowed so many days for a certain illness.
“When a patient is fairly stable,” she said, “they go to swing bed where Medicare pays on different level.”
Part of the auxiliary function designated in the guidelines, Hadley said, is for those in the swing bed program to have social involvement, which is one of the goals.
How do volunteers help?
The volunteers have lots of games, books, puzzles, crosswords, and other entertainment to help in a patient’s recovery.
Auxiliary members can also help with the office or escort patients outside for a Dexa Scan, which checks calcium in bone or whether someone has osteoporosis.
By assisting hospital staff with this function, Hadley said they are saving the facility anywhere from two to three hours of an office person’s time.
“The Dexa Scan is every other month or so,” she said.
Since the establishment of the new auxiliary in August, the group has raised more than $600 to help the hospital with whatever they might want that otherwise isn’t in the budget.
“The two fundraisers on Oct. 19 and Dec. 1 were quite successful,” Hadley said. “We had a bake sale and pre-Christmas items.”
Where money goes
The money raised will be sued by the Swing Bed program for a rolling cart with a television/VCR connection.
“A VCR and variety of music, travel and documentary tapes have been donated,” she said. “Additional money from this, plus a spring event, will be used for a local student scholarship for health career fields.”
The group meets quarterly and Hadley said they have a special speaker involved in some way with the Swing Bed program.
Some of those programs included physical therapy, occupational therapy, dietary, nursing and discharge planning.
Along with Hadley and the officers, other members include Elinor Kliewer, Loyal and Rosella Martin, Jan Isham, Ruth Friesen, Carla Koslowsky, Lois Hiebert, Joann Heinricks, Sharon Siebert and Carol Ollenburger. Meredith Ryan was also a member until recently.