Another visit to CarolinaEast Medical Center produced new insight into people who have committed their time to volunteer in our community. This time, the focus was on the Medical Center’s Auxiliary Volunteer Force. After meeting with the Health System’s Volunteer Manager, Ms. Jeanne Balaoing, I had an all new perspective of the volunteers dressed in salmon-colored jackets or aprons and/or red vests. I assumed they were Red Cross volunteers (because of their uniforms), but was surprised to find out they were a different entity. They are strictly a volunteer workforce for our local Medical Center and Health System.
CarolinaEast’s Auxiliary Volunteers provide many services that members of our community may not be aware of. Besides staffing the surgery waiting area, they provide many patient, visitor and staff services. These services include greeting new patients with toiletry items free of charge, manning the Medical Center’s library, delivering books and magazines to patient rooms, managing and staffing the Reflections Gift Shop, volunteering time in the Pharmacy, Patient Registration, Nursing Units, Food Services, etc.
You would think these services would be enough, but they also raise money during numerous fundraising events throughout the year. They plan and hold seven annual sales at the hospital including uniform sales, a book sale, T-Fal sale, linen sale, jewelry sales, etc. All proceeds go back into patient care items to include purchasing heart scales, heart pillows, personal hygiene kits, and various other items needed during the year.
These Volunteers have also installed over 340 Philips Lifeline units in the surrounding area. The units provide clients with an enhanced sense of independence. Having a Philips Lifeline unit in the home can provide peace of mind for a client’s entire family and can get help fast and reduce unnecessary suffering in the event of a fall. This service provides 24/7 assistance in the case of an emergency. The client wears a Lifeline pendant or watch which alerts local emergency medical services and their care givers, allowing for an immediate medical response to the distressed person.
Last year, the CarolinaEast Health System Auxiliary donated $94,000 for a new ambulance for our Medical Center. The Fairfield Harbour Satellite Auxiliary group donates many handmade items such as lap throws, baby blankets and hats, mastectomy pillows, chemotherapy turbans, stuffed animals, and Christmas stockings stuffed with handmade items for each patient in the facility for their many patients.
The Auxiliary Volunteers have made a significant impact on patient, visitor, and staff services rendered at CarolinaEast Health System. When you see one of these volunteers donned in salmon and red uniforms, thank them for their service to our community. Their personal commitment to give back to our community displays their kind character and should be passed on to generations to come.
Thank you, Auxiliary Volunteers, for your great service to our community. We really appreciate it!