The St. Joseph’s General Hospital Auxiliary is the first to make a donation for the hospital’s bed replacement fund and the first to get the donation thermometer to rise.
Geraldine Robinson, past president of the hospital auxiliary, says the organization is donating $14,745, which covers the cost of three patient beds, as well as the side and over bed tables.
St. Joseph’s General Hospital Auxiliary, which was originally the women’s auxiliary, held it inaugural meeting in May 1958, one year before the hospital opened in Elliot Lake.
At the time, Elliot Lake growing population in the booming mining town was largely made up of mineworkers and their families.
Faye Steel, treasurer of the hospital auxiliary, says the first deposit the organization made to the hospital was $9. The first equipment they purchased for the hospital was a set of baby scales for the maternity department.
“We also bought the first heart monitor,” says Steel. “And the hospital gift shop is where most of the money comes from.”
She adds that to date, the hospital auxiliary has donated about $2 million to the hospital.
Robinson says that because of COVID-19, the auxiliary has only about half of what it usually collects. This year, they raised about $20,000 compared to the average of about $40,000. Some of the money also goes to school scholarships.
The St. Joseph’s Foundation of Elliot Lake is raising funds to replace the hospital’s 54 aging and outdated patient bed units, which includes the beds, bed side tables and over bed tables.
To replace each bed, along with the bed side and over bed tables, comes with a price tag of about $6,000.
The total cost to replace the 54 beds is about $324,000.
Pierre Ozolins, St. Joseph’s General Hospital CEO, says anyone wanting to make a donation to the patient bed fund can do so at the hospital’s business office or to William Elliott, chair of the St. Joseph’s Foundation, at the ELNOS office on the third floor of the ELNOS Building. Tax receipts will be given for donations of $20 or more.