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NIH Auxiliary boutique benefits community healthcare, one purchase at a time

NIH Auxiliary boutique benefits community healthcare, one purchase at a time
NIH Auxiliary members look forward to seeing friends, neighbors, and NIHD supporters at their annual Holiday Boutique fundraiser on Saturday, Nov. 5. From left to right are Sharon Moore, Karen Benson, Pat Hawley, Judy Speed, Judy Fratella, Diane Remick and Betty Dickey. Photo by Barbara Laughon/Northern Inyo Healthcare District

The Northern Inyo Hospital Auxiliary’s Holiday Boutique returns to Bishop, once again offering holiday shoppers a chance to jump on their gift lists.

The boutique will be held Saturday, Nov. 5, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Northern Inyo Healthcare District’s Birch Street Annex, 2957 Birch St., just catty-corner from the Jill Kinmont Boothe School in the Manor Market region.

The boutique features almost a year’s work of handcrafted items by the Auxiliary. Tables filled with fall and holiday decorations, household basics, and many one-of-a-kind gifts will be available. A bake sale and See’s Candy sale round out the event.

The group also holds a drawing for cash prizes of $1,000, $300, and $200. Tickets can be purchased at the boutique for $1 each or six for $5. A door prize drawing will also take place featuring 33 generously donated gifts from local businesses.

“Our members dedicate many hours each year to this fundraiser, and we are more than ready to go,” says Auxiliary President Judy Fratella. “It’s such a wonderful time seeing so many friends, neighbors, and supporters of the hospital come through and help us meet our goal.”

Proceeds from the boutique help the Auxiliary provide necessary equipment not always able to be included in the healthcare district’s budget. This year, the Auxiliary has its collective eye on purchasing a Smart ABI+ system for NIH’s Wound Care Clinic.

“It’s all about early detection,” says Auxiliary Treasurer Sharon Moore. “The providers tell us that more than 8 million people in the United States have peripheral arterial disease or PAD. Most people with PAD are seniors, many with mild to no symptoms, which can be a problem.”

Northern Inyo Healthcare District’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Joy Engblade, explains PAD is usually a sign of a buildup of fatty deposits within the arteries. The buildup leads to reduced blood flow in the legs and, occasionally, in the arms. “Symptoms can range from coldness in one lower leg or foot, especially when compared to the other side, to leg numbness or weakness, or a weak pulse in the legs and feet,” Dr. Engblade says. “In more severe cases, leg pain can make it hard to walk or do other physical activities.”

Dr. Engblade notes because PAD patients may not always show symptoms, it is thought that nationally the number of cases may be underreported. “This is important because one to five PAD patients can lose a portion of their leg within a year of diagnosis,” Dr. Engblade says. “So, early detection reduces complications, and overall, it will help us catch PAD early on for better patient outcomes.”

The Smart ABI+ features motorized pressure cuffs used on patient extremities and wireless technology. The technology offers fast, reproducible results and gives trackable reports from one patient visit to the next, an improvement over the manual approach often seen in rural facilities.

The NIH Auxiliary raises funds through its annual holiday boutiques, community donations, and the hospital’s Gift Shop operation. The Gift Shop is a profitable venture and an essential service to patients, visitors, and staff. Located in the hospital’s Main Lobby, the Gift Shop features items including snacks, unique seasonal gifts, jewelry, and baby clothing. See’s Candy is available year-round, and the shop carries giftable items for those visiting hospital patients. Floral arrangements from Devon’s Flowers are available.

To date, the Auxiliary has donated $725,772.52 to the healthcare district.

Membership in the Auxiliary is open to men as well as women. There are no prerequisites for membership. All skill sets are welcome. General meetings are held on the third Wednesday of each month at 10 a.m. at the NIHD Birch Street Annex, 2957 Birch St., Bishop.

Anyone interested in making a financial donation for future equipment purchases or joining the Auxiliary may call Judy Fratella at (760) 873-4059.