When the St. Catharines Hospital Auxiliary was formed, Canada was not yet a country. Queen Victoria was Head of State but women did not yet have the right to vote. The Auxiliary pre-dated the telegraph, telephone, typewriter and transcontinental railway.
The St. Catharines Hospital Auxiliary began in 1865 when seven community-minded women in St. Catharines met at the request of Dr. Theophilis Mack to form a committee to aid a new hospital for the poor.
The Auxiliary has evolved through its 150 years, but one thing remains constant: It and the auxiliaries at each of Niagara Health System’s sites play a vital role in providing quality patient-centred care. The Auxiliary, the oldest in Canada, marked its 150th anniversary with a celebration luncheon today in St. Catharines.
“This milestone is a wonderful testament to the strength of the auxiliary and to the incredible people who have made so many contributions through the years,” says NHS President Dr. Suzanne Johnston. “The St. Catharines Auxiliary is an integral part of the history and future success of the St. Catharines Site of the NHS.”
Auxiliary members across Niagara give thousands of hours each year to our patients and their families, physicians and staff. They raise millions of dollars to buy much-needed equipment like incubators, ultrasound scanners and cardiac monitors. They contribute funding for new emergency rooms and intensive care units. And they provide people with a deep sense of humanity through their kindness and caring.
“We couldn’t provide high-quality care without the vitally important contributions that our volunteer auxilians across Niagara make as valued members of our health-care team,” says Dr. Johnston.
Fran Lounsbury, president of the St. Catharines Hospital Auxiliary, says it is rewarding to volunteer. “Being part of the auxiliary is a wonderful way to build friendships and to help others,” says Mrs. Lounsbury. “We are excited to be celebrating our 150th anniversary and we look forward to what lies ahead for our Auxiliary.”
Steven Gallagher, Communications Specialist, 905-378-4647 ext. 43879. firstname.lastname@example.org