The Champlain Valley Hospital Auxiliary was organized in 1905, at which time plans were being formulated for the hospital itself. In 1911 the Women’s League of Physicians Hospital was chartered. Physicians Hospital was built in 1926. The purpose of the Auxiliary and Women’s League was to raise funds and meet the various needs of the hospital. Every patient who came to the hospital was given a bed and the Auxiliary needed much help to do their part in bringing those patients back to health. For the next forty plus years, with years and years of work on the part of the Auxiliary, volunteers and the community, those purposes were realized.
During the 1930’s the Junior League, as an adjunct to the Champlain Valley Hospital and the Women’s League of Physicians Hospital was founded by Auxiliary member Mrs. William Howell, Sr. Elected Vice President of the Women’s League in 1931 was Mrs. Alice T. Miner. In the 1980’s, all three organizations merged to form the Auxiliary of the CVPH Medical Center.
In December of 1973 the Auxiliary opened a coffee shop on the first floor of CVPH. That coffee shop closed in the winter of 2004, due to changing economic times. That, along, with the hospital gift shop, now operated by Lori’s Gift Shop, was one of the numerous income-generating endeavors undertaken by the Auxiliary. In the Fall of 1985 the Auxiliary set up the “Swan’s Nest” daycare for pre-school children, which became the YMCA’s “Y Wee Care” in 1992.
Some accomplishments of the 1980’s included the purchase of 32 beds; Christmas toy sale for hospital employees’ children; Clinton Care program-to foster use of baby car seats; scholarships for nursing, laboratory and radiology units; automatic sliding door for front of hospital and the $250,000 pledge for the Capital Funds Campaign (FitzPatrick Cancer Center).
During the 1990’s, the Auxiliary completed their $250,000 pledge towards the planning and construction of the FitzPatrick Cancer Center. In 1995 the Auxiliary co-sponsored, with the FitzPatrick Cancer Center, the first ‘Eat Dessert First: A Celebration of Life’. This event was most successful and continues to be so. It was at the first event that the “Garden of Life” was dedicated, which still exists in front of the Cancer Center. Many of the guest speakers over the years have included cancer survivors.
Also during the 1990’s the Auxiliary contributed: $30,000 to the Alice T. Miner Center for Women and Children; purchased nine mattresses for the Critical Care Unit; initiated the Easter Egg Hunt; donated Spinoza Bears with tapes for recovery rooms; scholarships for nursing, laboratory and radiology departments.
1993 saw the beginning of the “Dinner at Eight” project which continued through 2009. Of particular note was the $165,000 raised for the Interfaith Chapel.
Subsequent dinners have resulted in contributions to the hospital of more than $180,000. These funds purchased: S.A.N.E. Room; Ambulatory Center Coffee Shop; Newborn Hearing Screening; Touch Screen Information System; R2 Image Checker; Sentinel Node Biopsy Probe; Intra-aortic Balloon Pump and also include a contribution to the Cardiac Center.
“Dinner at Eight”, the fashion show and Easter Egg Hunt are but a few of the community events held and those along with the uniform and vendor sales, vending machine sales and other revenue generating functions have all contributed to the growth and success of the Auxiliary.
In 2005, the Auxiliary celebrated its centennial anniversary. To ensure its mission of supporting the hospital lives on, at that same time, if folded into The Foundation of Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital. Past Auxiliary members continue to remain involved in committees and volunteers throughout the hospital. This has provided for continued unity and strength for the future of the hospital.