The Mercy Hospital Auxiliary logs countless volunteer hours, not only to contribute to the care of patients, but the equipment and services the hospital provides.
Auxilians oversee the gift shop, deliver flowers to patient rooms and handle mail and newspaper deliveries daily, "which is quite a chore when you consider we have nearly 400 co-workers in Fort Scott," hospital spokeswoman Tina Rockhold said.
The volunteers also provide directional assistance for visitors, handle vending machine sales and stock the machines. They also get wheelchairs for patients who need assistance.
In 2012, the auxiliary funded $48,799 worth of equipment and projects. This included partnering with USD 234 and Mercy clinics to provide ImPACT concussion testing for pre- and post-concussion assessments student athletes.
An electric door opener and Stryker Power Pro EMS cot were two of the bigger-ticket items the auxiliary funded at $7,000 and $11,705, respectively. Exercise machines and supplies and automated external difribrillators were among the items provided for as well.
Funding requests this year are at $19,689 and include platform scales, five Staxi Transport Chairs and Kangroo Eneral Feeding Pumps among a few other items.
"The Mercy Hospital Auxiliary is priceless to our health care ministry. These volunteers give countless hours to ensure our patients receive the finest care and hospitality. The men and women of the auxiliary provide support and source of inspiration that is contagious," President and CEO Reta Baker said.
Rockhold said it's not uncommon to see Auxiliary members at the hospital all hours of the day -- whether delivering the mail, stocking vending machines, assisting with special events or just sharing a smile and helping hand.
"We can't overlook the financial assistance that the Auxiliary provides to Mercy Hospital. Not only does the Auxiliary provide monetary contributions for program and operational support at the hospital, but the number of volunteer hours on an annual basis is equivalent to over eight full-time co-workers." Baker said.