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Release Date: 10/14/2013

Caring for those who care: Auxiliary donates $300,000 to St. Anthony's departments

From left, Dr. Chris Bowe; CEO Michael Rindler; Helen Hornak, Auxiliary president elect; Ursula Fox, immediate past president; and Roger Hastey, treasurer.

From left, Dr. Chris Bowe; CEO Michael Rindler; Helen Hornak, Auxiliary president elect; Ursula Fox, immediate past president; and Roger Hastey, treasurer.

Departments throughout St. Anthony’s Medical Center soon will have new equipment with which to further their patient care, thanks to a generous donation from the Auxiliary of St. Anthony’s.

At their meeting in September, members of the Auxiliary’s board voted unanimously to approve a $300,000 donation to the medical center, with a request that the donation be used to purchase more than two dozen items from the medical center’s three-year capital budget list. Members made the decisions after researching the requests and interviewing St. Anthony’s leaders. During the previous four years, the Auxiliary donated slightly more than $1 million to the medical center for its daVinci Robotic Surgery System.

“This year, instead of funding one large project, we decided to support our employees, filling their needs to do their jobs,” said Auxiliary President Helen Hornak, a five-year member of St. Anthony’s Auxiliary. “At one meeting, we talked with a few of the hospital’s leaders – Charles Lewis, Director of the Emergency Department; Renee Rockwell, Director of the Laboratory; and Ellie Sicola, Director of Senior Services, Wound/HBO Center, Senior Transport and Intercampus Courier Services – to see what their needs were. At another meeting, we took every written request, read the description of what they needed, talked about it as a group and selected the recipients. We were very grateful and thankful to management for their time, because we know how busy they are right now.”

The funds were raised under the presidency of Ursula Fox, immediate past president, and consisted mainly of income from the gift shop and the vending services, Hornak said. The Auxiliary’s income also includes items made and sold by St. Anthony’s volunteer quilters and crafters; periodic sales of items including pretzels, books, mums; and other fundraisers.

The Laboratory will receive funding for a plasma freezer, specimen refrigerator and platelet incubator/agitator, among other items.

“We are ecstatic and delighted that the Auxiliary has funded many of the laboratory needs to support the mission of St Anthony’s Laboratory,” Rockwell said. “The laboratory performs more than 1.5 million tests annually on both inpatient and outpatient samples, providing quality laboratory results for our physician partners and our patients. These items will enable the Laboratory to replace older, failing pieces of equipment, as well as provide new testing. One of the new pieces of equipment will enable us to test for Trichomonas infections, which are a common cause of sexually transmitted disease affecting many women nationwide. This new molecular diagnostic instrument will allow the lab to provide excellent care and service to women and their physicians, not only those who come to St. Anthony's Medical Center, but also those who are being treated in a physician’s office or outlying urgent care center as well.”

The Wound Treatment Center received funding for portable surgical lights and vital sign machines, and Senior Services received medical equipment that will allow its ophthalmologist at St. Anthony’s Senior Clinic to continue to provide eye-care services to patients from community nursing homes.

“I really enjoyed meeting the members of the Auxiliary,” Sicola said. “It is very apparent that they are compassionate, warm and kind-hearted people who cherish the opportunity to provide service and help others do the same by supporting our departments and the work that we do.”

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