JUNE 20, 2006 | The Critical Care Nursery at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) will have Web cameras, the smoking cessation program will have an inflatable lung kit, and University Rehab Services will have three speech-generating devices because of the generosity of the UAMS Medical Center Auxiliary.
The auxiliary, made up of UAMS employees and the general public, raised more than $100,000 this year with the bulk of it benefiting patients. The auxiliary board recently approved 10 grants totaling $66,526.
Most of the remainder of this year’s contributions is going to patient services that some may take for granted, like coffee in waiting rooms, personal hygiene items and clothing – typically sweats – for patients treated in the Emergency Department. The auxiliary also foots the bill for all hospital holiday decorations each year.
In addition, the auxiliary has recognized the Department of Pathology’s Laboratory Services with a $1,000 gift.
Sue Scott, administrative director for the department, said the money will benefit employees who helped with significant efficiency improvements in the lab this year.
“The employees here have had an outstanding year, and we appreciate the auxiliary’s recognition of their work,” Scott said.
The award to the lab is among the many ways the Medical Center Auxiliary supports UAMS programs.
Michelle Elliott, this year’s auxiliary president, said emphasis is placed on patient care when the board decides how to spend its money. But the group also recognizes ancillary hospital services by awarding $1,000 annually to a department or program that demonstrates significant improvements.
Elliott said the work by Scott and the lab’s employees have been “above and beyond.”
Scott, a 19-year employee at the lab, became the administrative director a year ago and initiated and completed several changes working with the lab’s new medical director, Gail Woods, M.D. The changes include a basic structural reorganization that better identifies lines of authority, a new automated chemistry track system and other innovations for efficiency. Scott said Department Chairman Bruce Smoller, M.D., named Woods to the director’s post a year ago and “she’s been excellent.”
The auxiliary’s funding comes primarily from the annual holiday Aromatique™ sale and proceeds from the Ward Tower Gift Shop. Aromatique,™ owned by Patti and Dick Upton of Heber Springs, has donated merchandise each year for sale at a discount to UAMS employees. The event has raised more than $750,000 in 11 years.
Elliott, who is also the hospital compliance manager, said she hopes people will continue visiting the Gift Shop even though it is out of the mainstream of hospital traffic now that the
“I would encourage people to please remember the gift shop because that’s been our most stable source of income over the years,” Elliott said.
Auxiliary funds also are raised through memberships, and a UAMS employee can become a member for as little as $10.
Following is the list of projects recently funded by the Medical Center Auxiliary:
· Respiratory Care, inflatable lung kit for smoking cessation campaigns, $295.95
· Critical Care Nursery, 10 Web-based cameras/equipment pending approval by hospital administration following a trial period, $8,386
· Case Coordination, funds to assist patients and families, $30,000
· UAMS Medical Center Community Fitness Program, motivational banners $431.95
· AHEC/Volunteer Department, M*A*S*H summer program for high school students, $3,053
· High risk obstetrical patients, crafts supplies, DVDs, Spanish magazines/books, etc., $700
· Hospital Admissions, CD, clock, and stationary toy, $180
· Rehab, three speech-generating devices, $20,065
· Rehab, one in-patient recumbent bicycle, $3,295
· Admissions, umbrella stand to hold plastic bags for patients and visitors, $120