The Westfield Memorial Regional Hospital Auxiliary hosted its Annual Meeting on Sept. 30 in the hospital dining room. Forty attendees enjoyed a delicious dinner, complements 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 was "Health Care Reform Things You Need to Know." Her talk gave members insight into Healthcare Reform and what it could mean for their future. Members were glad to obtain more information on this very timely topic.
Auxiliary Board President, Marjory Fritz, gave her 2012-2013 Annual Report on the projects and activities of the Auxiliary. She also conducted the election on one director for the Class of 2014 and five directors for the class of 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 from these funraisers 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. Improvements and updates to the hospital that were financed by the Auxiliary this past year include the renovation of four rooms in the medical surgical area. Each room got new paint, blinds, bedside and overbed tables, lamps, clocks and pictures. Also one new television and mounting bracket was purchased. A new blind and new paint were provided for the med/surg isolation room. Blackout shades were added to the two Sleep Lab rooms. The second floor waiting area was painted and the sofa and two chairs were re-upholstered. Lamps, pictures, a clock and glass table tops were also added to the area. 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 toward outdoor plantings, purchasing poinsettias and trimming Christmas trees in the Lobby and the Emergency Room Waiting Area, and sponsored a $500 Hole for the Foundation Golf Tournament. The group also continued their project to archive historical material relating to the Auxiliary which dates 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 re-upholster the bench outside the entrance to this area.
Several Community Outreach Projects were implemented this year by the Auxiliary. These included blood pressures taken monthly 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 coordinating blood pressure clinics at various sites in the areas served by the Hospital.
President Marjory Fritz states that "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."