“The Auxiliary is a fundraising machine, so to speak,” Rosemary Fornshell explained.
One part of that machine is Rosemary Fornshell, the President of St. Luke’s Magic Valley Auxiliary.
Fornshell said the Auxiliary is dedicated to raising funds to benefit St. Luke’s Magic Valley patients, patient families, staff and the Magic Valley community. The Auxiliary sits outside of the hospital as its own entity. Because of new bylaws that went into effect in January 2016 any volunteer is automatically an Auxiliary member.
There are 228 volunteers at St. Luke’s Magic Valley. In 2015, these volunteers contributed 34,586 hours. National Volunteer Week, observed April 10-16, is an opportunity to thank volunteers for all the time and effort they contribute to support St. Luke’s and the Magic Valley community.
For fiscal year 2015, the St. Luke’s Magic Valley Auxiliary donated $82,736.89 to support a new electric shuttle, new wheelchairs, warming pads for the medical floor and contributions to St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute, Palliative Medicine, 900 Women, Social Services and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
The Auxiliary raises funds through different avenues. There are special projects like drawings, plant sales, and book sales. But, their main revenue stream is the gift shop.
“It’s like a city here in itself,” Fornshell said. “The gift shop enhances the workday. It gives people a break to their day or a break on their lunch to do shopping.”
The board votes on how the money raised will be spent.
“One of the big projects for us is buying gas cards for our cancer patients at the St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute (St. Luke’s MSTI). The biggest problem we have in our area is not to have transportation. So, I’m finding that is a never-ending request. We give money through the Foundation to purchase the gas cards through the St. Luke’s MSTI Cancer Gas Fund. And, then the social workers decide who needs them,” Fornshell said.
Other projects funded by the Auxiliary include the Inpatient Rehab Unit (IRU), St. Luke’s MSTI Cancer Front Lobby, Same Day Surgery Balloons to Children, and Comfort Carts.
The Auxiliary also gives money to scholarships at the College of Southern Idaho for healthcare related majors.
The Auxiliary helps in other ways too. Just last fall, in the Emergency Room at St. Luke’s Magic Valley, they began providing clothing for patients. These kits are for the nurses to use at their discretion.
“The Auxiliary members found that patients were having their clothing cut off and staff were sending them home in scrubs, which is not a great use of hospital funds. So some of our auxiliary members created little kits of clothing,” Fornshell said.
According to Fornshell, the Auxiliary helps “wherever there is a project.” She said that Auxiliaries have been around for a long time. And, there will always be a place for volunteers at the hospital.
If you are interested in applying for assistance from the St. Luke’s Magic Valley Auxiliary, there is an application process. For more information, please contact Kim Patterson, Manager of Volunteer Services, at 208-814-0861 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michelle Bartlome is the public relations manager at St. Luke's Magic Valley.