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A Distinguished History of Giving

The Eisenhower Auxiliary

In November 1969, Dolores Hope, one of the founders of Eisenhower Medical Center, invited a group of women to her Palm Springs home to talk about forming the Eisenhower Ladies Auxiliary. Their response was enthusiastic, bylaws were written, and hospital trustees were invited to provide input to the group. Within a matter of months, so many men had asked to join the Auxiliary that the word “Ladies” was removed from the title. Volunteer Service

Since its formation 37 years ago, the Auxiliary has raised more than $18 million for hospital equipment, programs and services, and recruited thousands of volunteers who have contributed more than three million hours of service. Today, there are 1,350 Auxiliary members, of whom 820 actively serve the hospital and affiliated organizations as volunteers. Last year, they donated 141,000 hours — the equivalent of 68 full-time employees. Wearing their distinctive white uniforms with the red and blue, five-star logo, volunteers serve in virtually every area of the hospital. During the summer months when many volunteers leave the desert for cooler climes, more than 50 Juniors (ages 14 to 18), some of whom are considering health care careers, spend part of their summer vacations volunteering at the hospital. Financial Support

From its initial $100,000 “building fund” donation in 1971, the Auxiliary has provided funds for several major construction and renovation projects, including $1 million for the Dolores Hope Outpatient Care Center, more than $1 million for renovations to the Emergency Department, $1.2 million for the Surgical Pavilion, and $1 million for the Eisenhower Lucy Curci Cancer Center Healing Garden. The Auxiliary has also donated funds for high-tech equipment such as a $1 million CT scanner and $450,000 nuclear medicine camera, helping the hospital provide state-of-the-art medical care.

The Auxiliary also helps fund programs that might not otherwise be funded in today’s cost-conscious health care environment. Contributions made at the 37th Annual General Meeting in April show the diversity of programs supported by the Auxiliary: $230,000 to Eisenhower Medical Center — the balance of the pledge for the nuclear medicine camera; $20,000 to the Betty Ford Center at Eisenhower for the “Alcohol and Other Drugs Awareness Hour” speaker series; $50,000 for “Arts in Healthcare,” an innovative program that incorporates the healing powers of music and art into the hospital experience; $26,369 to Eisenhower’s neighbor, the Community Blood Bank, for a new plasma freezer and platelet incubator; and $10,000 for the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center at Eisenhower. Last year, the Auxiliary gave $36,000 for Eisenhower’s Five Star Club, the Valley’s only non-profit provider of adult day care for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or other memory impairments; continued funding for nursing scholarships to help in nurse recruitment and retention; and, financial support for wiredMD™, a free online patient education program.

Never willing to rest on its laurels, the Auxiliary has pledged to raise $500,000 for a comprehensive, state-of-the-art video camera system (light sources, cameras, monitors, and a variety of laparoscopic surgical equipment) permitting all forms of laparoscopic surgeries in 12 of the hospital’s operating rooms and pledged to continue its tradition of giving generous financial and volunteer support to Eisenhower Medical Center.

For more information about the Auxiliary and Volunteer Services, please call 760-773-1304.

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