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Auxiliary celebrates 60 years, contributes $185,000 toward community projects

  • Category: News
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Tammi Holbrook

Each year, King’s Daughters Auxiliary provides thousands of dollars in funding to support dozens of community programs and health initiatives that benefit underserved and at-risk individuals and families throughout the region.

Today, the Auxiliary awarded more $185,000 in gifts to support 20 community projects for fiscal year 2016, including:

  • $25,000 to provide Tdap immunizations to pregnant women in their third trimester
  • $10,500 to remotely monitor at-risk patients in their homes
  • $4,680 to provide meals to homebound individuals
  • $12,000 to provide assistance in the home as respite for regular caregivers
  • $2,145 to purchase new robes for women waiting on mammograms/breast ultrasounds at KDMC
  • $5,000 for smoking cessation nicotine patches to those who want to stop smoking and are not covered by insurance
  • $7,500 to fund celebrations locally for National Cancer Survivors Day

“KDMC’s Auxiliary volunteers truly have the biggest hearts and support the health of our community,” said Jennifer Sparks, director of Women’s Health Services. “They make it possible for women in their third trimester of pregnancy to receive a Tdap immunization they otherwise may not receive. Unfortunately, insurance companies do not cover this vaccine currently, which means it is an out-of-pocket expense for most pregnant women.”

Sparks said of the 1,100 baby deliveries at KDMC, most mothers do not have coverage for the Tdap or tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis vaccine. It is used to prevent pertussis (or whooping cough.) In newborns, pertussis can be a life-threatening illness. Babies cannot receive the Tdap vaccine until 2 months of age.

According to the Center for Disease Control, there has been an increase in whooping cough — 10,000 to 50,000 cases a year in each state. In recent years, 1,450 infants have been hospitalized for pertussis and 10 to 20 die each year.

“Women should receive a Tdap vaccine for each pregnancy between 27 weeks and 36 weeks or six to nine months,” Sparks said. “By administering the vaccine during this time period of pregnancy, it protects both mother and baby from this life threatening illness.”

Other projects receiving Auxiliary funding for FY 2016 include a diabetes support group, the KDMC emergency medication fund, supplies for KDMC’s Kid’s Kloset and the purchase of teddy bears for pediatric surgery patients at King’s Daughters.

The Auxiliary generates funds to support these programs primarily from KDMC Gift Shop sales and Auxiliary sponsored events including book, jewelry and electronic sales at King’s Daughters.

“The Auxiliary has been an invaluable part of the medical center for 60 years,” said Anne Sloan, Volunteer Services director. “More than 220 volunteer on a weekly basis, and the Auxiliary is one of the largest contributors to the Hospitality House. We truly appreciate their dedication to the medical center and our community.”