Baptist Health Auxiliary
In 1958, a group of women met with the administrator at the old Kentucky Baptist Hospital on Barret Avenue to start the Baptist Hospitals Auxiliary. Two of the original founding members of the Auxiliary, Jet Owens and Ellen Roth, continued volunteering with Baptist Health for over 30 years and remained lifetime members of the Auxiliary. They had over 25,000 hours combined and truly set the stage for what the Auxiliary is today.
Kentucky Baptist Hospital changed its name to Highlands Baptist Hospital and then in the early '80s it changed again to Baptist Hospital Highlands. Baptist East was opened in St. Matthews in 1975. Due to a decrease in patient occupancy and the need to consolidate some services, Baptist Highlands closed and its services were moved to Baptist East. In 2013, Baptist East changed its name to Baptist Health Louisville.
The Auxiliary is a fundamental part of the Volunteer Department. The Auxiliary serves as a major fundraising arm of the hospital and remains an important liaison between the hospital and the Baptist churches. They partner with vendors and schedule sales throughout the year to raise funds, which are in turn donated back to the hospital. All proceeds from the Gift Shop are donated back to the hospital to purchase equipment and fund special services and programs. The Auxiliary pledged $1 million for the new Park Tower in 2005. In 2011, another $1 million pledge was made to help pay for a biplane imaging system for use in the surgical area and currently is completing the 3rd million dollar pledge. In addition, they are instrumental in supporting several special projects throughout the year:
- Surgical pillows – purchases all supplies, sews, stuffs and distributes to patients in need at the hospital. These pillows are given to all surgical patients and are known as cough pillows.
- ICU/CCU and Cardiac Care Center Waiting Room snacks – different churches and groups bring in individually wrapped snacks, which are placed in the ICU/CCU Refreshment Center for families of those patients.
- Tray cards – groups from the local churches make up cards with Bible verses on them that are placed on bedside trays and in the waiting rooms by volunteers.
- Funding for patients with special needs – the Auxiliary provides a monthly check to the Foundation to help extend comfort to a patient in need or family member through expanded support services.
- Activity Booklets - The need for something for patients and families to do while visiting and waiting for tests was brought to the attention of the Auxiliary. An activity book was produced and placed in all outpatient and emergency waiting areas of the hospital to help pass the time.
- Patient Outreach Project - Supplies are purchased to help patients and families stay connected with the patient while they are receiving care in the hospital, such as coloring books, puzzles, playing cards and games. Volunteers round on nursing units to distribute material.
- My Little Bible - The Auxiliary purchases more than 3,500 of these books which are children's Bible stories and are given to all babies born at Baptist Health Louisville.
- Other projects include - Fundraising sales, NICU therapy tools, baby hats and blankets, prayer blankets, Palliative Care pillowcases, Orthopedic program "Comfort Cart," prayer journals for the chapel, baby stockings, and more.
The members of the Auxiliary, in their help to the ill and the giving of their time, create an atmosphere of warmth and spirituality throughout Baptist Health Louisville. The gracious giving and Christian caring further uphold the long-standing tradition of volunteering at the hospital.