A newborn at Victoria General Hospital is kept warm with the use of a biliblanket. Fundraising done by the VGH Auxiliary goes toward the purchase of this specialized equipment that helps babies who are jaundiced.

A newborn at Victoria General Hospital is kept warm with the use of a biliblanket. Fundraising done by the VGH Auxiliary goes toward the purchase of this specialized equipment that helps babies who are jaundiced.

Hospital Auxiliary’s work makes a difference

New equipment improves the lives of patients and families at Victoria General Hospital

Fundraising for the Victoria General Hospital Auxiliary is a year-round labour of love.

An initiative through November and December which raised close to $8,000 to purchase a BiliBlanket for the neonatal intensive care ward is just one example of the work the volunteer group does in conjunction with the Victoria Hospitals Foundation, said auxiliary member Candace Verners.

“Fundraising is a major part of what we do,” she added. “We give back to helping as many people and families as we can through the purchase of new equipment. Departments send us a wish list of what’s needed most and we choose from that.”

The list has included a special stretcher for the emergency department that costs $11,000, or a $7,000 treadmill for the neuro rehab department.

The BiliBlanket is utilized for newborns diagnosed with jaundice, providing continuous phototherapy through a fibre optic light that shines through the blanket onto the baby’s skin, to help reverse the effects of the condition.

The Hospital Auxiliary is a mix of mostly women and some men who step up because they want to make a difference in their community and beyond, as evidenced by those in attendance at a recent monthly meeting.

President Val Smith was pleased to share news that the gift shop is able to open in the evening once again, because some new members have stepped in to fill the void.

“We’re always looking for new members who want to help fundraise and help out in other ways such as volunteering in the gift shop,” Smith added.

For more than 20 years auxiliary fundraisers have helped purchase new equipment worth millions of dollars. Anyone interested in joining can check out vgha.ca for more information.

reporter@goldstreamgazette.com