GOWANDA Members of the former Tri-County Memorial Hospital Auxiliary have made a final contribution to the county's largest health system toward the purchase of $17,000 in medical equipment for community use.
The Auxiliary served the former Tri-County Memorial Hospital in Gowanda which was forced to close and was recently demolished following severe flooding in 2009. Since then, its parent corporation, Lake Erie Regional Health System of New York (LERHSNY), has been providing local services to the community at Gowanda Urgent Care & Medical Center in Gowanda.
Esther Kuhs, who served as Treasurer of the Auxiliary which raised funds at the former Tri-County Hospital, said that $17,000 was still in the treasury at the time of the flooding and that the members recently decided to use the remaining funds to benefit their area.
Pictured with newly-purchased medical equipment are (from left) Jane Sion, President, former Tri-County Memorial Hospital Auxiliary; Esther Kuhs, former Auxiliary Treasurer; Michelle Connors, LPN; and Nancy Lance, RPA-C. The Auxiliary donated its final $17,000 toward the purchase of three EKG machines and a hoyer lift.
"We decided to ask the staff at the outpatient clinics the best way to use the funds," she said, at her last luncheon.
According to Nancy Lance, RPA-C, Gowanda Medical Center, the staff decided on the purchase of three EKG machines and a hoyer lift.
"We're very grateful," she said. "It really helps the patients." EKG machines record the electrical activity of the muscles of the heart and can be used to detect signs of heart disease. The cardiac machines are upgrades to existing equipment and are located at Gowanda Medical Center, Conewango Valley Medical Center, and Forestville Primary Care Center which is scheduled to open its doors to a new building in July."
A hoyer lift is an assistive device used to safely transfer patients from settings such as bed to chair via electric lift while reducing the risk of injury to the patient and staff. In this case, Lance said, the hoyer lift provides wheelchair-bound patients "a more complete exam because you can lift them onto the exam table" at the Gowanda site. The hoyer lift replaced equipment that was lost in the Tri-County flood.
Kuhs, who served as auxiliary treasurer for almost 20 years, said that the auxiliary at the former hospital had raised funds over the years in a variety of ways. Those included the annual Tag Day where volunteers collected contributions on community street corners and other locations. Membership drives via mail and the Trash & Treasure sales which were held in the Auxiliary's location at the former hospital also helped to raise funds for the organization. Kuhs said she is glad to let everyone know "the money that was here is being used for the benefit of the community. The community was always very supportive of the Auxiliary and a lot of people really liked the hospital."
While the former Tri-County Auxiliary has disbanded, many other opportunities continue to exist for those interested in assisting through Volunteer programs and Auxiliaries throughout the LERHSNY system. For more information, call 951-7041.