Members vote to dissolve Ross Memorial Hospital Auxiliary

Ross Memorial Hospital

Citing a number of challenges, members have voted to dissolve the Ross Memorial Hospital Auxiliary based in Lindsay, Ont.

RMH Auxiliary president Ann Botond said that during a meeting on Thursday, members voted unanimously to dissolve the organization, which first formed in 1904 and was known as the “Ladies’ Auxiliary” in its early years. The name changed to the “Women’s Hospital Auxiliary” in 1956 and became the Hospital Auxiliary in 1972, according to the hospital.

Botond said that a result, Ross Memorial Hospital will now provide administrative assistance to support the approximately 125 auxiliary members’ continued volunteering.

Among their multiple roles include operating Ross Memorial Hospital’s Reflection’s Cafe and Gift Shop, staffing the main entrance information desk, and supporting patient care and family members.

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Over the years the auxiliary has done other fundraisers to support the purchase of hospital equipment and other services. The auxiliary also bestows a bursary to hospital team members to support advanced educational opportunities named in honour of former longtime volunteer Pat Angiers.

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Botond said the Auxiliary faced a number of challenges that precipitated the decision to dissolve. A key one was the disbanding of the Hospital Auxiliaries Association of Ontario in 2019 due to the rapid decline in the number of hospital auxiliaries in Ontario. Botond said the RMH Auxiliary relied on the HAAO for guidance and professional advice on how to execute auxiliary constitutional obligations.

She said that in the 2022-2023 fiscal year, the auxiliary attempted a trial new board structure and responsibilities for members to attract more talented candidates, however, the efforts were unsuccessful.

Botond said the shift to hospital governance will help its members continue to serve the community.

“This change in governance structure will alleviate administrative pressures and allow volunteers to focus on the part of the role they’re most passionate about – supporting patients and families, team members, and helping raise funds to purchase equipment our hospital and community needs,” Botond said.

“The board looks forward to a seamless transition that facilitates continued volunteer engagement.”

Kelly Isfan, Ross Memorial Hospital president and CEO, said volunteers remain an “integral part of the Ross family.”

“We are proud of our storied Auxiliary history and feel the best way to celebrate it is to provide the necessary support and resources required for the continuation of a robust volunteer program at our hospital,” she said. “Volunteers will remain embedded in the exceptional care our community relies on.”

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The hospital has highlighted some of the significant achievements of the auxiliary on its website.

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