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Meritus Medical Center Auxiliary raises money for newborn infant warmer

August 14, 2011
  • The Meritus Medical Center Auxiliary presented the Meritus Healthcare Foundation with a $10,994 check to supply a newborn warmer at Women's and Children's Services. The check represented proceeds from the auxiliary's 2010 Tree of Lights campaign and was a portion of the $16,000 cost for the newborn warmer. Front row, from left, Larry Summers, treasurer; Donna Schnurr, president-elect; Jody Bishop, director, Women's and Children's Services; Dr. Madhu Nigam, neonatologist; Betty Dattilio, past auxiliary president; Barbara Resh, auxiliary president; and Sue Fiedler. Back row, Tom Brewer, auxiliary assistant treasurer; labor and delivery nurse Traci Daugherty, clinical manager of the special care nursery; and Jean Goodnight, office manager.
Submitted photo

HAGERSTOWN — One of the Meritus Medical Center Auxiliary’s most significant projects of 2010-11 came to fruition this spring with the dedication of $16,000 for a newborn infant radiant warmer for the Special Care Nursery at the hospital.

The warmer is used for well babies immediately after birth, keeping them warm as they transition to life, said Jody Bishop, administrative director of the hospital¿s Family Birthing Center. There are now 10 warmers available in the labor and delivery rooms and the hospital nursery. They include a separate bassinet so babies can be placed near their mothers until they no longer need the warmer.

Auxiliary President Barbara Resh said providing the newborn equipment responded to a need expressed by hospital managers, who requested a warmer in the capital budget. But providing funds for this purpose was an easy choice for the auxiliary for such a life-affirming need, she said.

“This warms our heart every time we see the warmer being used in the obstetrics department of the new hospital,” she said, where auxiliary members spent many of the projected 48,108 hours given to the health system in the past year.

The $16,000 for the newborn warmer came from a combination of auxiliary fundraising campaigns, including $10,994 from the 2010 Tree of Lights campaign, in which the auxiliary provides light and ornament sponsorships and the 2010 Crystal Ball, a hospital fundraising event that includes a special-interest project. The campaigns are coordinated by the Meritus Healthcare Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose sole purpose is to encourage philanthropic support for programs and services that benefit Meritus Medical Center and the community.

The mission of the auxiliary and its 460 active and associate members is to supplement the staff of the hospital, provide care and comfort for patients, and raise funds for new hospital equipment, scholarships and patient care programs. Auxiliary volunteers have given more than 3,148,000 hours of service since 1952, and in that time, have raised more than $4 million.

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