FMH Auxiliary donates $20,000 to hospital; officers installed
FARMINGTON - A donation to Franklin Memorial Hospital, scholarship announcements, and the installment of new officers were just a few of the actions taking place at the annual meeting of the Franklin Memorial Hospital Auxiliary on June 6.
The meeting began with Les Gatchell, auxiliary vice president, welcoming members and providing background on the development and growth of the healing garden and its memorial stone path. The healing garden, with its colorful flowers in bloom throughout the season together with stately pine trees, offers a natural serene setting for hospital visitors, patients, and staff. The stone path features engraved stones that residents purchase as a lasting memorial to loved ones and is an ongoing fundraiser for the Auxiliary.
Auxiliary president, Shannon Smith presented Rebecca Ryder, Franklin Memorial Hospital president, with the gift of $20,000, with $14,500 to be used for the healing garden and $5,500 to be used to support the medical school partnership with Tufts School of Medicine and Maine Medical Center. As part of this partnership, two students in their third year of medical school train at Franklin Memorial Hospital with the hospital providing housing. The curriculum focuses on rural and small-town practice.
Ryder applauded the work of the auxiliary saying, “I hope you realize how much we fully appreciate all the hard work you do and the support you give to the hospital. The healing garden is here because of you. On a daily basis, I look outside my office and see patients and families there positively affected by its environment.”
Among the committee reports, Caroleen Caldwell, chair of the scholarship committee, announced the six recipients of the Auxiliary’s West Central Maine Health Careers Scholarship Program. The following will be awarded a $600 scholarship upon successful completion of the first semester: Kelsea Beisaw, Jay; Hillary Chase, Kingfield; Jessica Martin, Farmington; Bethany Masse, East Dixfield; Taylor Timberlake, Wilton; and Meika Toothaker of Strong.
Tom Hagerstrom, director of development and the staff liaison to the Auxiliary, installed the following officers for the coming year: Les Gatchell, president; Kamilla Hall, 1st vice president; Dawn Girardin-Schneider, 2nd vice president; Lois Smith, secretary; Judy Farrington, treasurer; and Betty Levesque, assistant treasurer.
Guest speakers included: Charlie Woodcock, network volunteer director, who discussed the hospitality cart that is used by volunteers to deliver flowers, puzzle books, chocolate, prayer shawls, and other items to patients and family members in the oncology department; while Michael Swan, vice president of clinical services, quality and physician support, discussed improvements in patient satisfaction, and the transition to patient- and family-centered care, which creates partnerships in health care.
At the conclusion of the meeting, outgoing president Shannon Smith was presented with flowers and a plaque for her four years of service in that capacity—being cited for her dedication and support of the Auxiliary.
The hospital’s gift shop is the Auxiliary’s major fundraiser in its mission to provide financial support by purchasing equipment that the hospital would like to have—but cannot fit into its budget. The Auxiliary also raises money by way of membership dues, raffles, Bag Ali sales, memorial stones, teas, dances, food and book sales, special events, and the Remembrance Tree during the holidays.