JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — The Emory Johns Creek hospital Auxiliary has been serving the hospital for over a decade, and with Emory’s sights set on expansion, the auxiliary is working to ramp up its efforts.
The auxiliary is made up of 170 volunteers who commit at least four hours a week to help the hospital staff, patients and visitors. Their responsibilities include managing the hospital gift shop, staffing the concierge desk and providing logistical help for doctors and nurses.
“When you come to the hospital, you’re either sick, you’re visiting someone who’s sick, or you’re having a baby,” Auxiliary President Ed Holt said. “In any case, you’re stressed. Anything we can do as volunteers to get them to that place where they’re not as stressed, it really helps.”
Last year, the auxiliary contributed more than 36,000 hours in volunteer time to the hospital.
“We’re not doing any medical procedures, but we are making a difference,” Auxiliary Treasurer Ted Lynam said. “You interface very positively with the patients, and at the same time you perform those things that allow the medical staff to do their work.”
Lynam works the “rooster shift” in day surgery from 5 to 7 a.m. He decided to join the volunteer group after he was a patient in the hospital in 2008.
“When I was a patient, the care I was receive was over and above what I would have expected,” he said.
The volunteers are mostly retirees, Lynam said. In the summers, there is a high school and college student volunteer program.
In addition to thousands of hours in free labor, the auxiliary supports the hospital through scholarships and capital fundraising. With funding from gift shop sales and fundraising events, the auxiliary awards scholarships to students pursuing a career in medicine and to Emory staff seeking additional training.
The volunteer group contributes new equipment to the hospital such as cameras for the neonatal intensive care unit, additional blanket warmers and an adaptive vehicle for patients learning to drive after a stroke or injury.
Last year, the hospital announced plans for a $61 million expansion that would add two stories to the main hospital building. The hospital is also building a new parking garage and making additional improvements to meet the growing demand from patients.
“As it grows, we grow,” Holt said. “We need to grow with the hospital in order to support the hospital.”
To achieve this end, the auxiliary has restructured the gift shop to boost sales and is seeking new volunteers. To learn more about the Emory Johns Creek Hospital Auxiliary visit ejcha.org.