SNMH Auxiliary: Providing helping hands to those who need it most |

SNMH Auxiliary: Providing helping hands to those who need it most

Amy Abt
Special to The Union

How Do I Apply?

For more information or to receive an application, call 530-274-6884 or visit the main lobby desk or outpatient lobby desk at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation. Information can also be found at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation by calling 530-477-9700.

The late great actress and humanitarian Audrey Hepburn once famously quoted journalist and TV personality Sam Levenson, saying, “Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, it’s at the end of your arm. As you get older, remember you have another hand: The first is to help yourself, the second is to help others.”

That sentiment is at the core of a group of volunteers who have been providing their services to Dignity Health Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital for more than 60 years.

The SNMH Auxiliary is comprised of women and men from diverse backgrounds dedicated to providing a helping hand to Nevada County’s local hospital and the over 75,000 community members who utilize its services on a yearly basis.

Created in 1958, the SNMH Auxiliary consists of people from all walks of life who help to supplement the basic services of professional hospital staff.

Auxiliary volunteers perform a wide variety of tasks throughout the hospital, including personal patient services such as delivering flowers, gifts, newspapers and mail; serving refreshments; escorting patients, families, or visitors throughout the hospital; assisting with departmental needs; and volunteering as staff in the Pine Tree Gift Shop and reception areas.

Incoming Hospital Auxiliary president and Nevada County community member Sue Scardina joined the SNMH Auxiliary in 2015 after working as an employee in various hospitals for 31 years.

“In the hospital that I worked at I had volunteers who worked with me visiting patients and they were wonderful,” said Scardina. “Volunteers help release some of the pressure and time for actual medical staff.”

Scardina went on to say how fulfilling being a hospital auxiliary volunteer has been for her and her fellow members.

“Being a volunteer is a great way to give back to the community.” Said Scardina. “Community members, neighbors, or friends will come into the hospital and we will help them navigate to the appropriate areas. It’s a great way to give back to an important community resource. SNMH is our community hospital and it’s an incredible resource right in our own backyard.”

Scardina’s primary goal going into 2020 is to not only continuing the Hospital Auxiliary’s legacy of service, but also increasing their organization’s membership.

“Our volunteers’ hours are worth a great deal of money and savings for the hospital. In 2019 we contributed thousands of hours to the hospital and that is huge. We need to continue to recruit new volunteers in order to sustain our contributions.”

Prospective Hospital Auxiliary volunteers must be over the age of 18 and should be interested in helping others, possess a positive attitude and be dependable. All prospective volunteers are interviewed and must attend both auxiliary and hospital orientations for appropriate training in their respective areas of interest.

These areas include: Pine Tree Gift Shop, Main Lobby, Outpatient Lobby, Cancer Center, Emergency Department, Nursing Floor, and Nursing Station. A minimum of 60 hours per year served is required.

The SNMH Auxiliary also provides a wonderful opportunity for meeting new friends and networking with individuals in the community.

In addition to an annual picnic, the organization hosts four luncheons throughout the year, as well as several social events such as group outings to plays and musicals.

Along with supporting hospital services, the SNMH Auxiliary also participates in various fundraising efforts to help maintain the high standard of health care at SNMH.

Funds raised via the Pine Tree Gift Shop and annual events are donated to SNMH for the purchase of crucial patient care equipment and technology. In fact, since 1958, the SNMH Auxiliary has contributed more than 1,420,477 volunteer hours and has donated more than $1.3 million to SNMH.

In addition, the SNMH Auxiliary has worked closely with Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation to help raise funds for specific hospital needs that are not covered in the hospital’s budget.

In 2019 the SNMH Auxiliary donated $35,000 toward the $2 million SNMH Foundation Emergency Department campaign.

“We have a deep appreciation for our Hospital Auxiliary’s volunteers,” said SNMH Foundation Executive Director Kimberly Parker. “They are a huge asset to both SNMH and our community as a whole. I encourage those looking for passionate and meaningful volunteer work to consider donating their time to our wonderful auxiliary.”

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