Auxiliary Angels Add to the Patient Experience


TriState Health Auxiliary, also known as the “Auxiliary Angels,” is a valuable part of the hospital staff, an extension of the TriState Family. In 1955, a group of women volunteered to serve the newly built Tri-State Memorial Hospital in any way possible – this was the beginning of the Tri-State Memorial Hospital Auxiliary. The group was initially formed as twelve separate guilds, each named after members of the original Board of Directors of the hospital. As the number of Guilds decreased, the format was revised. Today, the TriState Health Auxiliary has evolved to include both men and women who volunteer their time as one Auxiliary. It currently consists of 41 members, with some volunteering at TriState for over 25 years!

The TriState Health Auxiliary is a non-profit organization, providing thousands of hours of service throughout the hospital. They add that extra touch to make a patient’s stay more comfortable, and they help to lighten the load by volunteering their time and abilities. From greeting patients as they walk through our hospital doors to overseeing the gift shop, awarding scholarships, and stepping in where they are needed, their volunteer legacy has spanned decades and touched many lives.

Norma Nave, President, oversees all things Auxiliary. From recruitment to scheduling and “anything else she is asked to do,” she has been volunteering at TriState since 2009. “I started working at this hospital in 1958 in the kitchen before moving on to imaging, became a Registered Nurse, worked in the OB department, emergency, and all over the place,” Norma says. “I have seen two new hospitals open up and have worked in the healthcare industry in some capacity for 50+ years; it’s part of my life,” she continues. “As a volunteer, I love the opportunity to work with all of the Auxiliary ladies and view things from their eyes, with a fresh perspective, while mentoring them and sharing with them what I’ve learned over the years. It’s a different kind of work, but equally rewarding,” she adds.

The Auxiliary is often the first face our patientssee upon entering our facility. They welcome our community with a friendly smile, direct you to your appointment, or accompany you wherever you need to go, happily chatting along the way. Many of the volunteers were once nurses themselves or held other positions within the healthcare system, and it brings them joy to help the community in a new way now that they are retired.

“I joined the Auxiliary because I have always been interested in the medical field, and my first jobs were in hospitals,” says volunteer Patricia Hoch. “It has always been a positive experience, and after spending time at my station in the hospital, I always go home feeling that I have made a positive contribution to the community,” she continues.

The Auxiliary recently assisted in implementing the hospital’s “quiet pack” project as part of their Whisper Campaign, where they provide patients with earplugs, white noise machines, word game booklets, and more, to provide a comforting and peaceful environment during their stay. Auxiliary members check in on patients to ensure they have received the packs and follow up to see if they use them and find them beneficial during their stay. Patient feedback has been extremely complimentary, and many patrons have been excited to bring the quiet packs home with them when discharged. This is just one more way the Auxiliary Angels add to the patient experience.

We are thankful to the Auxiliary Angels for their dedication to the health and happiness of those we serve and for all they contribute to make TriState Health the community hospital of choice.

If you would like information on joining the TriState Auxiliary Angels visit today!