WESTFIELD - The Westfield Memorial Regional Hospital Auxiliary hosted its annual meeting recently in the hospital dining room with about 40 people attending.
The program for the evening was presented by Patty Ballman, hospital administrator. Her topic was "Health Care Reform - Things You Need to Know." Her talk gave members insight into health care reform and what it could mean for their future.
Marjory Fritz, auxiliary board president, gave her 2012-13 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 meeting, the board met for its monthly meeting.
The Westfield Memorial Hospital Auxiliary has sponsored several fundraisers in the past year, including a turkey dinner, soup supper, Celebrating Spring event at the Athenaeum Hotel at Chautauqua Institution, pie booth at the Westfield Arts and Crafts Festival, Parklane Jewelry Sales, sale of porcelain ornaments and magnets, and a giveaway tree with lottery tickets.
Proceeds from the fundraiser helped the auxiliary pay for many projects and improvements to the hospital. The latest project approved by the board involves refurbishing the hospital's Community Room. 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 medical/surgery 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 reupholstered. Lamps, pictures, a clock and glass tabletops 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 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 its 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 money from past Walk for Wellness events. Money 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 the area.
Several community outreach projects were implemented this year by the auxiliary, including 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 Academy and 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.
"The auxiliary's mission includes advocacy on behalf of the hospital," Fritz said. "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 Werstfield Memorial Hospital remains the first choice for care in the communities it serves."
New members are welcome to join the auxiliary.