The Hospital Auxiliary’s thrift store in Vavenby has been an important fundraiser for many years.

The Hospital Auxiliary’s thrift store in Vavenby has been an important fundraiser for many years.

Valley Voices: DHMH Auxiliary continues to help the whole valley

Times Staff

Clearwater’s hospital is unusual in that there was a hospital auxiliary even before there was a hospital.

In fact, the hospital auxiliary was one of the reasons why what is now known as Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital was built.

The hospital auxiliary was in 1970 while the hospital itself officially opened in September, 1972 (and even then it did not begin operations until sometime later).

According to a report in the Times from the late Mavis Parker, the Auxiliary’s first president, a temporary executive was formed in February, 1970, during a meeting held in Parker’s living room.

“I phoned around to all the different areas and asked for a representative from each one, and then we met here in February of 1970,” she recalled in a special supplement produced in 1995 to mark the group’s 25th anniversary.

“Next we arranged to have a public meeting and got in touch with the Royal Inland Hospital Auxiliary to come and make a presentation. We held the meeting in the old Birch Island hall and we had a good turnout.”

Although no hospital auxiliary had done it before, the new group was formed into groups.

“We formed units because it was not as easy to get around as it is now,” Parker told the Times.

The first executive was elected in April of 1970, with Parker as president, Gail Capostinsky as first vice-president, Jean Pearce as second vice-president, Jane Smith as secretary, and Elaine Blundell as treasurer.

The group began fundraising almost right away and by the time the hospital was built, had already raised $16,000.

Here are some highlights from the past few years:

1999 – At the provincial conference the founding president, Mavis Parker, was honored with a provincial life membership.

2000 – Life membership presented to charter member Doreen Bowes.

2002 – New hospital opened.

2003 – An evacuation plan for the hospital’s long term residents was put into place because of the McLure Fire.

2004 – The Auxiliary’s flea market was moved to the old hospital site.

2005 – A dinner was held to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Hospital Auxiliary. Beloved former Clearwater physician Dr. Robert Woollard and his wife Erlene attended.

2008 – Last flea market was held in April.

– First dessert extravaganza was held in the Wells Gray Inn.

2010 – The Auxiliary celebrated its 40th anniversary with a tea on March19.

– First Garden Party held May 1.

2013 – Presentation of life membership to charter member Pauline Gregory.

2015 – Final building inspection marked completed at the Thrift Shop in Vavenby. Improvements included an addition, new roof, new windows, floor, hot water tank, siding and paint.

– Presentation of BCAHA life membership to charter member Gail Capostinsky

– The Auxiliary’s first 50/50 Raffle Fundraiser was a success.

2016 – Life membership presented to Gertie McKeown.

– Second 50/50 raffle fundraiser sold out

Here is a list of equipment purchases paid for by Dr Helmcken Memorial Hospital Auxiliary:

1973 – Typewriter, $361.

1974 – Landscaping, $4,000, Furniture (doctors’ lounge), $367; Processor, $5,000; Monitor Defibrillator; $1,000.

1975 – Fetal pulse monitor, cast cutter, $835; Resuscitator, $2,000.

1976 – Fridge, $1,241.

1977 – Lab Equipment, $1,445; Water Pick,$31; Screen for slides, $382; Lead shield, $226.

1978 – Physio equipment, X-ray sink, $215; Halter IV Pump and Blood Bank, $537; Projector, $294; Blood gas counter, $4,074; Microwave oven, $732; Mirror, $105.

1979 – Bathtub, 240; Warming cabinet and analyzer, $1,713; Paving, $4,000.

1980 – Cart, $524.

1982 – Used copier, $636; Portable X-ray machine and picker, $1,590; Safety equipment for hospital, $907; Video equipment, $1,824; Ultrasonic Nebulizer, $950; Rocking chair, $100.

1983 – Typewriter, $796; Ecalogizer, $117; MT Processor, $8,835.

1984 – Mobile Trac filing system, $6,334; X-ray jackets, $2,000; Recessed view boxes, $650; IV infusion pumps, $3,000; Vital signs monitor, $2,600; Lab fridge, $898.

1985 – X-ray equipment, $10,887; Techlem Cadet stretcher, $1,159; Cardiac monitor, $7,737; Geriatric chair, $780; Lamp (emergency), $1,094, Walkman, $64; Cassette tapes, $31; Cassettes for Walkman, $86.

1986 – Coagamate, $5,049; Urinalysis machine, $642; Resuscitation Annie, $855.

1987 – Stabilet, $12,430.

1988 – Flexible sigmoid-o-scope, $3,349.

1989 – Inferential unit for physio, $5,000; From auction for equipment, $1,112; Oximeter, $3,206.

1990 – Vital-o-meter, $7,066.

1991 – Toward Blood Gas Monitor, $12,000.

1992 – Heart monitor – defibrillator, $12,599.

1993 – Coagamate, $7,500.

1994 – Arjo Lift (patient lift), $8,327.

1995 – Upright Buckey, $10,573; Birthing bed, $11,032.

1996 – Equipment Fund, $1,159; Lacarya Golf for Health for new ECG machine, $1,395; ice machine, $150.

1997 – Incubator, $4,494; Equipment fund, $30; Medical equipment, $1,904.

1998 – Cadd Prizm pump, $5,992.

1999 – Three electric beds, $20,389.

2000 – Sit to stand patient lift, $4,950; Three electric beds, $19,586; Transtar trauma stretcher, $5,900.

2001 – IV Fluid Warmer, $3,245; Two crash carts, $1,465; Two Transtar trauma stretchers, $11,301; Donation toward MRI (RIH), $17,964.

2003 – Portable X-ray unit, $25,107.

2004 – Transport Ventilator, $24,352.

2005 – Ultrasound unit, $26,717; Breast pump, $1,851.

2007 – Cast vacuum, $2,182; Vacuum cast cutter and vacuum , $4,033; Cell counter, $912; Time stamp, $413.

2008 – Fiberoptic trachea stylette, $528; Televisions.

2009 – Hyfercator, $1,372.93; Procedure Cart, $1,712; Two alternating pressure mattresses, $4,269; Controls for above, $526.

2010- Two integrated diagnostic systems, $1,939.

2011 – Medical carts, $2,962; Medical equipment, $2,171; Three ceiling lifts &accessories, $8,955; Sabina Sit to Stand Unit, $5,461.

2012 – Portable palliative care hospital bed, $1,848; Medical equipment, $5,610; Digital recorder, $1,655; Cachet stool, $478.

2013 – Dermascope polarization set, $2,152; Diagnostic set mini, $533; Doppler, Elite 200 digital display, $1,066; Commercial food processor, $1,272.

2014-15 – Electric imaging stretcher, $11,794; Slit lamp, $7,601; ECG machine, $14,822; Pigg-O-Stat (X-ray children), $6,180; Defibrillator, $24,498; Ear wash system, $460; X-Ray grids, $1,935; Bladder scanner, $18,040.

2015-16 – Space Lab, $35,000; Blender, $559.53; Portable oximeter, $857.41; Broda Chair, $3,059; Two nebulizer machines, $317.

2017 – Portable bedside ultrasound, $20,000.

 

Mavis Parker was the DHMH Auxiliary’s first president.

Mavis Parker was the DHMH Auxiliary’s first president.