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Hedrick Medical Center Auxiliary Celebrates 60 Years of Service
By Courtnie Cranmer, C-T
February 28, 2014

C-T Photo/ Courtnie Cranmer

CAPTION: Hedrick Medical Center Auxiliarian, Bonnie Collier, greets patients and their families as they walk into the hospital. Bonnie, a 14-year-member of the auxiliary, started volunteering her time in 2000. "I like being a member of the auxiliary because I like being around the people here and feeling like I'm helping someone."

If you have been to Hedrick Medical Center within the past 60 years, chances are you've run into at least one member of the HMC auxiliary. Whether they are greeting you at the front desk, escorting you to the place you're supposed to be inside the hospital, or working in the gift shop, the Auxiliarians will be there.

The HMC Auxiliary members are volunteer workers at Hedrick Medical Center. The Auxiliary is made up of about 50 active members, mostly retired women (and a few men), who donate their time to help at the hospital. They also have around 100 Lifetime Members who are inactive but still members of the auxiliary.

Members are recruited mainly through word of mouth, but Liaison Kenny Crawford and President Norma Shearer said they have also made senior center visits and put information in local church bulletins. The volunteer jobs consist of managing the gift shop, greeting people at the front desk and specialty clinic, filing paperwork, escorting patients throughout the hospital, acting as liaisons between surgery and the patients' families, and helping in dietary and OB departments. The Auxiliary members also sew surgery pillows and eyeglasses cases for every surgery patient. This is a huge task as they only have around five ladies making roughly 500 eyeglass cases and 300 pillows each year. "I've sewn about 250 of these (eyeglass cases) since the first of the year," President of the Auxiliary, Norma Shearer, said. "If someone can sew on a button or sew a basic seam together, they're welcome to help."

The Auxiliary has five or six fundraisers per year, including annual spring and fall bake sales, a scrub sale, Tupperware sale, an Easter hat parade, and a book fair. The money they raise help fund ten $500 scholarships given out each year to students actively involved in health care. These students must already be accepted into the nursing program or be pharmacy or psychical therapy students. They also purchase items for the OB and surgery departments and wheelchairs to be used throughout the hospital. "Last year, in Hedrick Medical Center, the auxiliary reached close to 7,900 hours of volunteer time at the hospital," Kenny Crawford, HMC Auxiliary Liasion said. Divided among the 50 active members, that's close to a full time job. "We feel we are important; our CEO feels we are important. We are an important part of the hospital."

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