Among the most powerful and meaningful forces in life is the gift of giving. Those simple gestures from one person to another improve lives and leave a lasting legacy of compassion, care, and love. In a community rich with the gift of giving, the Northern Inyo Hospital Auxiliary still shines brightly after 55 years of continuous service in support of quality healthcare in Northern Inyo County.
NIH Auxiliary members came together earlier this month to begin another year of service with a celebration of its achievements and the installation of its 2018-19 officers.
The purpose of the NIH Auxiliary is to render service to the hospital and its patients through ways approved or proposed by the Northern Inyo Healthcare District Board of Directors. Founded in the early 1960s, the Auxiliary has raised and donated almost $600,000 toward equipment purchases for the hospital.
In the last year, the Auxiliary raised almost $31,000, nearly $11,000 more than the previous year. The group raises funds through its popular Holiday Craft Boutiques, community donations, and the operation of the hospital’s Gift Shop. These sales of handmade quilts, baby clothing, flower bouquets and See’s Candy often make the difference between a good and great fiscal year for the group.
Leading the organization for the next year will be President Judy Fratella, Vice President Vivian Mitchel, Treasurer Sharon Moore, recording secretary Judy Speed Castleberry and corresponding secretary Carole Sample.
As a volunteer-based organization, the greatest gift given by any member is their time, something the Auxiliary makes a point of recognizing each year. Auxiliary President Fratella hailed the members for giving an annual total of 8,053 hours, an all-time high for the group. Since 1982, Auxiliary members have donated 203,416 hours for the betterment of the NIHD’s services.
Fratella also awarded service pins to those reaching milestone numbers in the last year. Those honored included:
- 100 Hours -- Michelle Hart, Pat Hawley, Bonnie Pooley and Marti Witters
- 500 Hours – Judy Speed Castleberry
- 2,000 Hours – Betty Anziano and Cheryl Underhill
- 3,000 Hours – Vivian Mitchel
- 7,000 Hours – Judy Fratella
- 11,000 Hours – Nona Jones
- 16,000 Hours – Sharon Moore
In recent years, the Auxiliary has helped provide the Automated Breast Ultrasound machine for early breast cancer detection in women with dense breast tissue; a Mini Immunoassay Analyzer for the Laboratory which increased the ability to diagnose and treat bacterial infections; an electrocautery machine for the surgical suites; and five bedside bassinettes which keep newborns within the mother’s natural reach after delivery.
Membership in the Auxiliary is open to men and women. President Fratella reminds everyone that all help is welcome and appreciated and that there are no prerequisites for membership. General meetings of the Auxiliary are held the third Wednesday of each month at 10 a.m. at the Birch Street Annex, 2957 Birch St., Bishop.
Anyone interested in making a financial donation, or interested in joining the Auxiliary, may call Sharon Moore at (760) 872-4198.