Southeast Hospital gives awards to auxiliary, medical alliance during its annual dinner

Friday, April 28, 2006

Centered on a theme of "Celebrating Excellence," the Southeast Missouri Hospital Association held its annual dinner Thursday night, honoring two organizations with special service awards for "working diligently for the hospital and the good health of the community."

More than 800 association members and guests attended the dinner at the Show Me Center.

Highlighting the event was the presentation of two special service awards to the hospital's auxiliary and the Cape Girardeau County Area Medical Alliance.

"Both of these organizations have done so much for our community's good health," said David Hahs, a hospital trustee announced the award winners, which were presented by hospital president and CEO James W. Wente.

The medical alliance membership consists of the wives and husbands of physicians in the community. Nationally, it is this organization's mission to be the proactive volunteer voice of the American Medical Association while promoting the good health of America. The local chapter was recognized for exceeding that mission, Hahs said.

The local alliance was organized in 1924 with seven charter members, Hahs said. Today, the alliance continues to support health sciences education, recently endowing an annual nursing scholarship with a $10,000 donation to the hospital foundation.

The alliance also has supported the hospital's Meals on Wheels program since its inception in 1974. Other programs the alliance has supporting through fund-raising has been the "Art for the Health of It," annual exhibit at the hospital and the new "Turning Point" Breast Cancer Support Group and Awareness Program.

"We are so honored," said alliance president Maria Gates. "Our mission is to better the health in the community of all people."

The hospital auxiliary, organized in 1937 and reorganized in 1959, has been tireless in its efforts to support the hospital and to serve as "good will ambassadors" throughout the hospital's service area, Hahs said.

Fund-raising is a "special calling" of auxiliary members, he said. The group has Diamond Arrow Partner Status in the hospital foundation's Million Dollar Club, with a giving record of almost $400,000 since the foundation records began. Thousands more were raised prior to that time in the 1970s, Hahs said.

Funds donated at the hospital come from a number of sources. The Auxiliary Gift Shop in the hospital lobby, staffed seven days a week by volunteers, continues to be the largest single fund-raiser with a profit last year of more than $65,000. The auxiliary baby photo service for parents of new babies born at Southeast raises about $6,000 yearly.

Last fall, a volunteer army of more than 200 joined forces for the region's first Designer Show House of Ideas, with a net profit of $20,466.

"Our pledges get bigger every year," said Marge Sullivan, director of volunteer services and the liaison between the hospital and the auxiliary. "I tell everybody 'Our group is a happening group.' The honor goes to every single person in the organization."

335-6611, extension 137

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