Date: 3/3/2009

Community Hospital Auxiliary contributes $100,000 to hospital’s Emergency Department project

Community Hospital Auxiliary President Paula Nellans presents Community Hospital CEO Don Fesko with a $100,000 check. The donation is earmarked for the hospital’s Emergency Department project.

The Community Hospital Auxiliary has made a $100,000 donation to support the hospital’s new Emergency Department project.

The newly renovated Emergency Department which officially opened Monday, February 16 and represents an investment of more than $32 million is packed with advanced technology, new comforts for patients and families and new efficiencies that will enable staff to more quickly assess and treat patients.

“This is the busiest hospital in Lake County and the expansion helps us respond to the growth in demand for our services while continuing to provide the very best in care,” Community Hospital CEO Don Fesko said. “The Auxiliary’s gift will help ensure that the hospital is able to acquire the latest in technology and provide a new level of comfort to our patients.”

The new Emergency Department incorporates advanced technologies designed to help deliver faster results and better care. The two-story pavilion which opened Feb. 16 includes a 14-bed Telemetry unit providing care for patients who require specialized monitoring.

“It was an honor for the Auxiliary to be part of the Emergency Department expansion project,” said Paula Nellans, Community Hospital Auxiliary president. “We felt it was appropriate to be giving back to the hospital since much of the funding came from purchases made by employees and volunteers at the Red Garter Gift Shoppe.”

Predating the hospital’s opening in 1973, The Community Hospital Auxiliary today remains active with 280 current members who organize and participate in various annual fundraising events such as the Red Garter Gift Shoppe, Red Garter Gift Cart, jewelry sales and book fairs. Since the group’s formation, the auxiliary has contributed more than $2 million in funding toward hospital projects. A large portion of that funding has been dedicated to establishing scholarships for students pursuing careers in healthcare.

In addition, according to Nellans, another portion of the funding raised by the Auxiliary has been applied to the Community Hospital Medical Technology Endowment Fund. The fund was established to support the acquisition of new medical technology to ensure that area residents are afforded the very best care available

The Community Hospital Auxiliary also provides essential volunteer services relating to everyday operations. Volunteers assist with entrance desks/lobby information, mail/floral delivery, gift shop, nursing floors, complimentary patient BINGO, making heart pillows for cardiac patients, floral arrangements for gift shop, social service, cardiac rehabilitation and rehabilitation services. Auxiliary membership is open to individuals who are interested in supporting the hospital’s mission.

For more information on how to become a part of a volunteer organization that has been making a difference in the lives of individuals for more than 30 years, please contact Pam Kaczmarski, 219-836-4065 or pick up an application at the Main Lobby Information Desk located just inside the main entrance to the hospital. Find out more about donating your time and talents at Community Hospital in Munster by clicking on