WMH Auxiliary holds annual meeting

The Westfield Memorial Regional Hospital Auxiliary held its annual meeting on Sept. 30 in the hospital dining room. Forty attendees enjoyed a delicious dinner, compliments of WMH, catered by CJ’s of Westfield. The board of directors was pleased with the number of members attending and welcome others to join this worthwhile organization.

The program for the evening was presented by WMH Administrator Patty Ballman. Her topic, “Health Care Reform Things You Need to Know,” gave members insight into Healthcare Reform and what it could mean for their future.

Auxiliary Board President Marjory Fritz gave her 2012-2013 Annual Report on the projects and activities of the auxiliary. She also conducted the election for one director whose term will expire in 2014 and five directors whose term will expire in 2016. At the conclusion of the annual meeting, the board of directors met for their monthly meeting.

The WMH Auxiliary has sponsored several fundraisers in the past year including a Turkey Dinner, Soup Supper, Celebrating Spring Event at the Athenaeum Hotel at Chautauqua, Pie Booth at the Arts and Crafts Festival, Parklane Jewelry Sales, sale of porcelain ornaments and magnets, and a raffle tree with lottery tickets.

The proceeds have enabled the auxiliary to fund many projects and improvements to the hospital. The latest project approved by the board involves refurbishing the community room at the hospital. Last year, the Auxiliary financed a number of improvements. One was renovation of four rooms in the medical surgical area. Each room got new paint, blinds, bedside and over-bed tables, lamps, clocks and pictures. Other purchases included a new television and mounting bracket, a new blind and new paint for the medical/surgical isolation room, blackout shades for two sleep lab rooms, paint and reupholstering of the sofa and two chairs in the second floor waiting area and lamps and pictures, a clock and glass table tops for the second floor waiting room. Finally a display was created in the main corridor of the hospital featuring a medicine bottle from Dr. Soule’s Hospital (the first one in Westfield). The bottle was generously given by Mr. and Mrs. Allen VeStrand.

Other ways in which the auxiliary has supported the hospital include providing funding for outdoor plantings, purchasing poinsettias and trimming Christmas trees in the lobby and the emergency room waiting area and sponsoring a $500 Hole for the Foundation Golf Tournament.

The group has been archiving historical material relating to the auxiliary, dating back to the beginning days of the hospital. An interesting detail that surfaced relating to the hospital was the name Gary Jack Caldwell who was the first baby born on Aug. 30, 1942, the opening date of Westfield Memorial Hospital.

A Scifit Total and Upper Body Exercise bike was purchased at a cost of $5,000 for the PT/Cardiac Care Rehab area with funds from past Walk for Wellness events. Funds from the 2012 Walk were used in the PT/Cardiac Care Rehab area for paint, carpet in exam rooms, posters and frames and to reupholster the bench outside the entrance to this area.

Several Community Outreach Projects were implemented this year by the Auxiliary. These included monthly blood pressure screenings at the YWCA Senior Luncheon Site and the community AMBA blood screening event. Outreach Committee members participated with Hospital departments at two Wellness Days for Westfield Central School. Members also helped with the Chautauqua Employees Health Fair. Future plans include co-ordinating blood pressure clinics at various sites in the areas served by the hospital.

President Marjory Fritz said “The auxiliary’s mission includes advocacy on behalf of the hospital. Support of services offered, as well as word of mouth, are the most effective tools the auxiliary has for encouraging use of the Hospital. … As political and internal administrative changes continue to impact healthcare it is vital that the focus remain on maintaining quality care. To this end the auxiliary pledges its support and cooperation in assuring that Westfield Memorial Hospital remains the first choice for care in the communities it serves.”

New members are always welcome to join the Auxiliary and help support Westfield Memorial Hospital.