Backus Hospital Auxiliary Committee Reports
The Camisole Committee furnishes camisoles to post-operative breast cancer surgery patients. During this fiscal year the Auxiliary donated close to 55 camisoles to the Cancer Center.
Joyce Weber, Vending Coordinator, oversees the four vending machine refreshment facilities located within the hospital that produce income for the Auxiliary’s annual budget. Hospital patients, visitors, and employees can select from a wide variety of beverages and snacks available at the Canteens located along the main corridor (near the Gift Shop), and adjacent to the Birthing Center, Emergency Room, and Same Day Surgery.
"Cure" chiefs/Turbans/Pediatric Caps
The “Cure”- chiefs/Turbans Committee provides “Cure”-chiefs and turbans, hand-sewn head coverings to patients undergoing chemotherapy. Approximately 175 “Cure”-chiefs and turbans have been distributed to patients this year. The Pediatric Surgical Caps Committee supplies colorful surgical caps to Same Day Surgery pediatric patients. More than 185 caps have been furnished this year. The Auxiliary also provides port covers/pillows to cancer patients. To date, 75 pillows have been donated to the Cancer Center.
This committee provides seasonal floral arrangements and decorations at the Open Meetings in May and October.
The Education Committee is responsible for procuring guests from the medical field to speak at selected Auxiliary Board meetings.
File of Life
This committee distributes the File of Life packets. Packets are handed out from the Gift Shops, the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program and various community organizations. Approximately 275 packets have been distributed this year.
As part of our efforts to support the hospital, two fundraisers were conducted during the 2017-2018 fiscal year: in July, “Dining for a Cause” at the 99 Restaurant in Norwich, and in September, the annual Mini-Golf Tournament at the Odetah Camping Resort in Bozrah.
The Backus Gift Shops continue to be successful, both as a fund-raiser for the Auxiliary’s projects and as a source of greeting cards, flowers, giftware, jewelry, books, and apparel for hospital visitors, patients and staff. The main Shop at the hospital is open seven days a week: Monday through Friday from 9am–6:30pm, Saturday from 9:30am–4pm, and Sunday from 1pm–4pm. The secondary Shop located at Backus Outpatient Care Center (BOCC) on Salem Turnpike is open Monday through Friday from 8am–4pm. Gift Shop Manager Candis Gioia oversees both Shops; volunteers comprise the remainder of the staff.
This committee maintains written records and photographs of our yearly work. In addition, this committee is responsible for promoting our activities within the hospital and in the local media. Two Auxiliary publications went out this year: the Auxilian in the spring and the Annual Report in the early autumn. Throughout the course of this year, the Auxiliary’s accomplishments and activities were publicized in the East region bi-weekly newsletter, the HospiTell.
The Auxiliary Membership presently numbers 322: 101 regular and 221 life members. To date 27 have been added to the Auxiliary membership this year. Annual regular dues are $25 ($15 for ages 60 and above). A life membership is available for a one-time contribution of $150. Life members always have the opportunity to consider an additional donation to assist us in fulfilling our numerous projects. The Auxiliary is always seeking new members to bring new energy and ideas to the group. Current members are encouraged to join the Auxiliary Board and to recommend membership to their friends. The Auxiliary Board meets on the second Tuesday of each month with no meeting in January or February.
The Annual Luncheon Meeting was held on Tuesday October 10, 2017, in the conference rooms at Backus Hospital. A buffet luncheon was prepared by the Food and Nutrition Department. The guest speaker was Donna Handley, President Hartford HealthCare East Region. In recognition of Backus’s 125th anniversary in 2018, the Auxiliary presented a check for $125,000 and directed the funds toward the Facilities Improvement Project scheduled to start next year. The Annual Membership Coffee/Tea was held in the conference rooms on Tuesday May 8, 2018. Refreshments were provided by the Food and Nutrition Department. At this event four scholarships of $2,500 were awarded to this year’s recipients.
This committee oversees the parliamentary procedures of the Auxiliary’s Board of Directors.
The Scholarship Committee, working with a pool of $10,000, awards two to five scholarships to high school graduates pursuing post-secondary study in a medical field. To be eligible, applicants must be current hospital employees, volunteers, or children, grandchildren or legal charges of a hospital employee or volunteer. Four scholarships of $2500 apiece were awarded this year to Catherine Albo, Stephanie Doody, Rachel Goldstein, and Ethan Rose.
This committee appropriately acknowledges death or illness in the families of Board members and Auxiliary employees.
At each major holiday throughout the year, the Tray Favors Committee provided appropriately themed favors for the dining trays of hospitalized patients. Contributors this year included the Rose City Senior Center and St. Jude’s Commons.
Throughout the year, the Auxiliary sponsors vendors who offer a variety of goods to employees and visitors at sales held on designated Fridays in the hospital. Recent vendor shows have featured accessories, jewelry, apparel, skin products, gourmet food items, and household goods. Forty shows were scheduled this year and the proceeds from the shows help to fulfill the Auxiliary’s financial commitment to the hospital.