Hospital Auxiliaries a Critical Part of Compassionate Care
A couple of years ago, Allan Gair threw on a Santa Claus suit and began rounding in the Emergency Department of Health First's Holmes Regional Medical Center.
"I walked past room 63, and there was a mother there with a little boy," the hospital's Auxiliary President recalled. "She said, 'Can you come in and talk to him?' "
Gair did, and on the way out, the boy's mother thanked him.
"She said, 'You made his day,' " a teary eyed Gair said. "And I said, 'No - it's the other way around.' "
Health First is looking for more Allan Gairs.
Each of the four hospitals in the Integrated Delivery Network (IDN) hosts an auxiliary, with volunteers helping to create a compassionate, high-quality environment for patients. The auxiliaries have contributed millions of hours of valuable service, as well as raised money to help finance hospital building projects, funding scholarships for students in the healthcare field, purchasing new equipment and sponsoring community healthcare-related programs.
Marcia Phillips, Manager of Volunteer Services and Customer Experience at Holmes Regional, described the Auxiliary as a "phenomenal gift to the organization."
"I can tell you, there are times we look around and say if our volunteers were not here, we would be in a world of hurt," Phillips said.
Volunteers can give as little as three to four hours of their time a week. Anyone interested is encouraged to call the volunteer coordinator.
"This group brings the best of humanity to all we serve every single day," said Leonne Sherr, Manager of Volunteer Services at Health First's Cape Canaveral Hospital. "Their positive impact on our customers, patients and staff is priceless."
Joelle Boccabella, Manager of Volunteer Services at Health First's Viera Hospital and Palm Bay Hospital, said volunteers are important to security, food services, maintenance and more.
"If you have a passion for helping others or desire to give back to the community, we have a place for you," she said.