Auxiliary members lend a helping handHospital organization seeks new members
By: Beth Rickers, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — The Worthington Regional Hospital Auxiliary is looking for a few good women — and men, too.
The volunteer service organization needs to bolster its ranks to keep providing a variety of services to the hospital. Although currently female-dominated, it is open to both women and men.
“We have a lot of members, active members who are doing things, but like anything else — churches, all kinds of community volunteer organizations, the people that volunteer are growing older, and the younger people are busy,” said Jeanne Goettsch, current WRH Auxiliary president.
As a group, the auxiliary meets once a month, on the first Thursday from September through May, to conduct business, socialize and for an educational program. During the rest of the month — all year round — the auxiliary members help out in many capacities at the hospital.
“There are so many things that we do, actually. We help in the cafeteria during coffee time in the morning. We have a book cart that we take around to the patients, and we man the gift shop,” Goettsch listed. “We hostess two days a week in the surgical patient family waiting room upstairs, visit with individuals and hopefully ease their stress a little bit. We have an escort service that takes people from the registration desk to wherever they need to go — lab, X-ray, same-day surgery. There’s a cookie cart that goes around if the patients so desire in the afternoon.”
The auxiliary members also assemble patient education materials and offer a “Rock-a-bye Baby” service for babies and young children who need some extra TLC, Goettsch added.
“It probably doesn’t sound like much, but it’s time-saving for the staff, and if we didn’t do some of this, it wouldn’t get done, the patients wouldn’t get that attention, or it would take some staff time,” she said.
If a member expresses an interest in one area of service, that’s where they are assigned, Goettsch stressed.
“Of the things that we do, the cafeteria and gift shop use up more hours than any other programs,” she said. “But people choose what they like to do. The dues are only $5 a year or $50 for a lifetime member, and we do like people to attend meetings if they can. We try and have an educational program for each meeting that lasts 20 minutes to a half hour, and the meetings don’t last more than an hour and a half total. We try not to keep people too long.”
For Goettsch, who worked as a nurse for many years before retiring, the WRH Auxiliary offers her a way to keep involved, on a volunteer basis, in a field she enjoys.
“I guess I enjoy being with the patients,” she said. “Most of the time I work with the patients, and I enjoy the people who are involved because they are so giving, willingly and eagerly, and I enjoy that aspect of it. It’s just another way to keep in touch and feel like you’re doing something in the health care system.”
Holly Sieve, the patient and public relations coordinator at WRH, knows both the satisfaction of being an auxiliary member and how much the auxiliary’s work is appreciated by the hospital staff.
“I have been an active member of the Worthington Regional Hospital Auxiliary for over five years now,” she said. “During my time as an auxiliary member, I have come to realize the importance of volunteers in rural communities. This wonderful group of people is no exception. They assist with so many important tasks here at WRH. The hours they volunteer for are very much appreciated by all of the staff.”
The hospital will go from being a city-owned facility to Sanford Health ownership at the end of this month, but the auxiliary members don’t anticipate the change will affect their organization or duties.
“We will continue, and I’m certain that we’ll have the support of the Sanford health care system because they have a great deal of volunteers at their other hospitals,” Goettsch said. “Our job is to be an advocate for the patient and make their stay — even though it’s not as long as it used to be — make it more pleasant for them.”
Anyone interested in becoming a WRH Auxiliary member can contact Goettsch, 372-5697.