CPDMH Auxiliary to focus on patient support

CARLETON PLACE – The Carleton Place and District Memorial (CPDMH) Auxiliary was formed in 1953, two years before the hospital opened. Ninety women attended the first meeting and Annie Johnston was elected as the first president. Sixty-six years later, the auxiliary is still here. In fact, last year, they provided 27,837 hours of volunteer service and donated $65,000 for the purchase of Smart IV pumps.

At its general meeting this spring, the auxiliary passed a motion to move in a new direction, focusing on its original vision to support patients and families at CPDMH.

“We are not going anywhere,” auxiliary President Marg Leblanc said. “But hospital volunteering is changing and so are we.”

In fact, the provincial Hospital Auxiliaries Association of Ontario voted to disband earlier this year due to cost concerns and declining memberships.

“Like many other auxiliaries throughout the province, we are re-focusing our efforts on what is most important and that is the care and comfort of patients and their families,” Leblanc said.

Over the next few months, the auxiliary will reduce its fundraising efforts to fulfill this new mandate. The Gift Shop, located in the hospital lobby, will also close. Grateful donors can still support the hospital through the CPDMH Foundation.

Recently, the auxiliary unveiled two new plaques on the River of Life donor wall in the hospital’s front lobby to recognize the local communities, businesses and organizations who have supported the CDPMH Auxiliary.

“This is the perfect time,” notes Marg Leblanc. “We purchase equipment, but it is their support that allows us to do that.”

“Volunteers are an integral part of the CPDMH team, and we are grateful for their incredible contribution to the hospital,” board chair Rob Clayton said.

Leblanc was formally recognized at CPDMH’s annual general meeting in June and said “from the bottom of our hearts, we are honoured to be your helping hands.”

“The men and women in blue are a welcome sight throughout the hospital and that will not change,” President and CEO Mary Wilson Trider said. “They truly live up to their motto that ‘one person can make a difference’ and we thank them.”