Hospital auxiliaries care about local health
Teamwork was the theme as more than 125 volunteers met in Nakusp last week (Sept. 17) for the 2010 Kootenay Boundary Area Conference of the BC Association of Health-Care Auxiliaries (BCAHA). The kind of teamwork that saw more than 550 auxiliary members volunteer 131,000 hours of time raising almost $500,000 last year.
“You can see the huge amount of work that can be done when we pull together,” said Pat Walker, KB representative on the BCAHA board, in her address on behalf of BCAHA president Vivian Fraser.
The conference, hosted by the Nakusp, New Denver and Kaslo auxiliaries, was a chance to celebrate last year’s successes and look to new ideas for the future. The focus was to share what is working and look at how the groups can work together for their common goals of better health care for residents of the region.
Local Interior Health Authority (IH) Board Director Glenn Sutherland brought greetings from Norman Embree and the IH Board of Directors and said Kootenay Boundary sites would not be the same without the incredible work auxiliaries do. Patients would not have the same sense of comfort when they visit our sites and are greeted by people who truly care about healthcare for their communities. Auxiliaries’ time and effort make a huge difference in improving morale and the workplace environment at for patients, doctors, nurses and staff, and visitors.
Sutherland said auxiliaries, and the health foundations in the area, are an important partner for Interior Health.
“The demands on the health care system always outweigh the funding resources available to us,” said Sutherland. “That will always be true, but both our foundations and you help bridge that gap. In addition, your dedication and commitment also inspires others to give – both financially and of their time.”
Ingrid Hampf said she was humbled to be part of the conference, and went on to explain that auxiliary support is not just about the important financial contributions auxiliaries make each year.
“You don’t just work in the gift shop or set up TVs, you take the time to chat with patients; to see how they’re doing. That makes a huge difference,” said Hampf.
Hampf said the conference also showed how auxiliaries work together to share things that work and learn from each other.
“You are a model for us to follow as we try to work as a whole region to provide quality services to all communities of the Kootenay Boundary.”
Sutherland said the auxiliaries’ efforts help local health care now and down the road.
“Your bursaries also help the next generation of health care professionals in their education, and I know that is a great future benefit to our sites. People from here who go away to school as doctors and nurses and technologists will come back to work here. You play a role in that and we are grateful.”
Last year in B.C. 86 health auxiliaries gave 1.6 million hours of their time to raise approximately $11 million. Auxiliaries in Kootenay Boundary have no administrative costs and money stays in the local communities where donors can see its benefits