Ajax Pickering Hospital

Ajax Pickering Volunteers

Background 

The Ajax-Pickering General Hospital Women's' Auxiliary was founded 65 years ago (1951), prior to the construction of the Harwood Avenue site of the Ajax-Pickering General Hospital.  The Auxiliary was responsible for the fundraising required to construct the building and then, upon its opening, was responsible for many aspects of the operation of the hospital, including laundry services, transportation of nursing staff to work, and cooking! Since then this group has evolved and changed with the times, both in services provided to the patients and to the organization's name. Since the merger of the Ajax-Pickering General Hospital and Centenary Hospital, we have been known as the Auxiliary to Rouge Valley Ajax and Pickering Hospital. And now under our new banner; Ajax Pickering Hospital Auxiliary.       

The Auxiliary is governed by an Executive Committee comprised of the President, Vice President, Past President, Secretary, Treasurer and Chairpersons of the following committees:

-       HELPP lottery

-       Social

-       Newsletter

-       Library

-       Hand knitting

-       Gift Shop

-       Public Relations

-       Membership

-       Student conveners (Student Volunteer Coordinator)

-       Adult volunteers (Director of Volunteers)

Committee chairs and executive are elected at the annual meeting of members of the Auxiliary.

Since the founding of the Auxiliary, the role of volunteers has changed as the hospital has grown.  Today, the primary activities of the Auxiliary Volunteers are:

In-Patient Services

The Volunteers provide support to the hospital through many in-patient areas.  The responsibilities are significant, and the patients and staff in these areas are very grateful for the support.  As the hospital expands, so do our services! Volunteers manage the patient flow. Ensure that patients have, in hand, their health card and the paperwork appropriate to the intended procedure. We aid patients in getting dressed in their gowns for procedures. We are also the "stagers" for our patients coming into Emergency. On the rehab floors, our volunteers help the patients by getting them water, lunch and dinner and generally just there to support them. Each job is unique to the floor and to the department but generally we are there to help however we can. This year we will volunteer in excess of 35,000 hours!

 We volunteer in each of the following departments!

-       Emergency

-       Day Surgery

-       Diabetic Clinic

-       Diagnostic Imaging

-       Mammography / Bone Density

-       MRI

-       Pre-op Administration (ACU)

-       Fracture Clinic

-       Information Desks (East and West lobbies)

-       Lottery

-       Rehab/Complex Care Rehab (2 North)

-       Maternity

-       Library

-       Rehab 3 East

-       CT Scan / X-ray

-       Ultra Sound

-       Laboratory

-       3 West Visitation

-       Gift Shop

Knitting

We have Auxiliary members (30 strong) who support the hospital through knitting, and this is done in their own homes.  These volunteers knit baby items for distribution to newborns and items for the gift shop and raffles. As well we have a group that makes afghans for us that are handed out to patients.

Newborns

Three times a week, a member of the Auxiliary visits Maternal and Newborn Services and delivers an item of hand knitted clothing for each newborn.  At Christmas, all the babies are dressed head to toe in special holiday outfits by our special Christmas elves!

Fundraising

The Auxiliary has a tremendous history of financial support for the hospital. In addition to funds raised for the construction of the original hospital, the Auxiliary has donated in excess of one million dollars for the purchase of medical equipment. Any way we can, we run fundraising activities.  These include bake sales, raffles, book sales, cupcake sales, jewelry sales, bingos, and our Gift Shop.  The Gift Shop represents a major source of funding as well. Recently, we donated $50,000 to support our new shoulder centre.  Auxiliary members pay an annual membership fee and are also directing memorial and tribute gifts to the cause.

We also manage a lottery desk at the west entrance where we sell tear-away tickets to staff, patients and visitors; 100% of the net proceeds go to the hospital.

Student Volunteers 

If you are 16 or older but under 21 years of age and would like to volunteer with us you need to pick up an application package. Generally the packages are distributed through the auxiliary office on a specific day in August.  That date is posted to our voice mail message at 905-683-2320 ext. 5481.

The Student program runs from mid October until the end of September.  Students may choose a weekday shift from 4:30-6:30 or a weekend shift Saturday or Sunday morning or afternoon.  The requirment is for 4 hours per week.

Numbers of Volunteers

There are over 220 adult volunteers who volunteered almost 34,000 hours in 2015/16; and 50 student volunteers. The adult volunteers "work" a shift of 3-4 hours per day; some may do 2-3 shifts per week. We manage over 200 shifts a week in 19 different departments. Through our intake process, our volunteer group is becoming more reflective of the broad diversity of our Ajax Pickering community.

Adult volunteer candidates undergo a phone, and in person interview process, an orientation process, medical testing, criminal reference checks and then are trained in the various departments that we serve. We are fortunate to have relatively low trunover of our volunteer pool. Our Current average length of service for our volunteers is 7 years. We have one lady that has over 60 years and a couple with 50 years of service to our hospital! We continue to recruit on a regular basis through the media and word of mouth.

Summary

We are blessed to have a great group of caring, industrious, committed volunteers who, on a daily basis, come to "work" and support the hospital in all that goes on here. Obviously this is done on their own time and for the better good for our staff and patients.

One of our most important community connections is the volunteer work done by the many dedicated members of the community. Volunteers play an integral role in the day-to-day operations of the hospital; helping staff, patients and visitors. It would be virtually impossible to put a price tag on the contributions made by our volunteer group!

For further information please call the Auxiliary Office at 905-683-2320 extension 5481