History of the Community Hospital Auxiliary
The first volunteer organization was organized March 1950 under the direction of the American Red Cross and was called the Gray Ladies - Chairman - Mrs. Ralph Brooks.
Dr. Leininger and Dr. Batty helped orient the Red Cross to the needs of the volunteer services in McCook. In 1962 the Pink Ladies were organized under the auspices of St. Catherine Hospital and in 1967 the transition was made from the Gray Ladies to the Pink Ladies - the name derived from the color of their uniform - Pink Ladies are strictly volunteers and receive no pay in any way for their services, their purpose is laid down for all Auxilians by the American Hospital Association.
- Public relations activity which will bring greater community interest and understanding to the hospital
- Volunteer services for the hospital. These include services done for the hospital both inside and outside the hospital.
- Fund raising for the hospital through various approved ways.
Some of the duties the first Pink Ladies did for Saint Catherine's Hospital were taking a coffee and gift cart around each afternoon, working in the gift shop, working in the medical library, writing letters for the patients, delivering the mail, sewing for the Sisters, delivering flowers to the patients rooms, working at the front desk as a greeter in the lobby, distributing books from the book cart, and one member helped in x-ray. Mrs. Myrtle Mason was the first Pink Ladies President. The group has been called Hospital Auxiliary since they moved to the Community Hospital July 1, 1974.
The current Hospital Auxiliary has a membership of 25 active members and 9 associate members. They meet the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 3:30 in the hospital, excluding June, July, and August.
Currently, the Hospital Auxiliary members staff the gift shop, deliver the mail and magazines, help with the community bloodmobile, host money-making activities such as bake sales and book fairs, do office work as needed, escort patients to various areas of the hospital for treatment, make baby caps, and other duties as requested by hospital staff. Proceeds from cart donations and all fund-raisers are used to buy things for the hospital. Since 1976 the Auxiliary has given more than $60,000 toward the building fund and equipment.
Here are some of the things the Auxiliary has purchased:
- Initial Pledge - Hospital Building Fund - $5,000.00
- Patient room dividers
- Sweat chloride machine (used in testing children for cystic fibrosis)
- Construction of additional office space
- Three shelf cart
- Ramp scale for wheelchair patients
- 2 commodes
- Annual Teen Volunteer Scholarship Fund
- Draperies for the nursery
- Shower chairs
- Plaques for Pediatrics Room
- Drapes for Pediatric Room
- Three IV controllers
- Surgical drill
- Money for one baby car seat
- All appliances for the Occupational Therapy Training apartment for independent living
- 24 padded folding chairs for extra visitors in patient rooms
- Wheelchair with extra neck support
- Candy placed in admissions area baskets for visitors
What a volunteer can expect in return for her time is the personal satisfaction, the inner consciousness of a job well done, the chance to prove her ability to learn new skills, and perhaps the most satisfying form of recognition is the day by day appreciation implied or expressed from the patients, hospital staff, and the community.