June 27, 2012
Volunteers and Auxiliary members Donna Fuller, left, and Lynn Engle deliver books, magazines, puzzles and other hospitality items to patients at the hospitals to make their stay a better experience.
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This article appears in the July - August 2012 edition of HealthBeat, John C. Lincoln's free health newsletter.
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In January 1952 — the same year the Desert Mission Convalescent Hospital was licensed by the Arizona Department of Health — 28 ladies met as the Network's first volunteer group, the Women's Auxiliary, to raise money and support.
Since then, the John C. Lincoln Health Network has grown to two hospitals, multiple physician practices and expanded community services.
More than 1,900 volunteers make up today's North Mountain Auxiliary and the North Mountain and Deer Valley volunteers.
The Auxiliary remains an important part of the culture and support of the Network, although fewer hospitals around the country have Auxiliaries today. The trend is to have volunteers only, said Mary Anne Carter, president of the Association of Arizona Healthcare Volunteers and a North Mountain Auxiliary member since 1984.
"We have a lady who is 100 and a past president, and she still wants the newsletter so she knows what's going on. We feel like we are part of something bigger," added Sue Beck, the current president of the North Mountain Auxiliary.
The North Mountain Auxiliary also helps fund grants and scholarship opportunities distributed by its members. Dues are $10 a year. Most volunteer as well, but it's not a requirement.
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Last year, the Auxilians and volunteers served 194,492 hours throughout the Network. They greet visitors and transport patients, help at Desert Mission and at events, and more.
If that volunteer time is equated to dollars, it's a value-added benefit of $4.24 million.
"We cannot fulfill our mission without the generosity of our volunteers. We are grateful for their amazing commitment and for all they do," said Linda Llewellyn, BSW, CAVS, director of Volunteer Services at the John C. Lincoln Health Network.
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