Beebe Auxiliary has donated $290,000 to Beebe Healthcare for the purchase of two hyperbaric oxygen chambers to be used to treat patients with chronic and non-healing wounds.
Outgoing auxiliary President Michael Clemmer presented the check to Jeffrey M. Fried, FACHE, president and CEO of Beebe Healthcare, at the auxiliary’s recent annual meeting.
“We are looking forward to being able to offer our patients this treatment,” said Bonnie Cunningham, GCNS-BC, director of Wound Care Services & Diabetes Management, who stood alongside Fried at the check presentation. “These chambers are capable of delivering 100 percent of oxygen into tissue, killing bacteria and greatly improving the patient’s circulation so as to allow the wound to heal.”
Chronic and non-healing wounds are serious health problems and can lead to the loss of a limb and to life-threatening infections. Those at risk for chronic wounds include people with diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, serious leg injuries, and those who have undergone radiation treatment.
Beebe Healthcare offers a multifaceted Wound Center providing care to a large population of chronic wounds. Many of the patients require hyperbaric oxygen therapy due to the complexity of the wound, and they currently must travel outside of the area to other healthcare facilities for treatment.
“We will now be able to provide this treatment locally,” Cunningham said.
Fried, while sharing information on the different services Beebe provides, thanked the auxiliary members for their continual support. The auxiliary is now in its 78th year. “You all make such a difference to what we do at Beebe Healthcare,” he said.
Clemmer noted that the Beebe Auxiliary is a strong and viable one. “We have 266 members, and we are growing at a time when other auxiliaries are going out of business,” he said. The auxiliary is made up of volunteers who give annually more than 33,000 hours of service to Beebe Healthcare. It is the oldest fundraising organization supporting Beebe, established in 1936, and has given more than $1.7 million in the past six years alone. Beebe Auxiliary raises funds through several initiatives including: Beebe’s Treasure Chest Thrift Shop in the Midway Shopping Center; the Gift Shop at the Medical Center in Lewes; the auxiliary’s Arts and Craft Committee activities; the annual Plant Sale; the Children’s Fun Fest; and various employee sales events throughout the year.
Other patient care projects the auxiliary has supported in recent years include the first digital mammography unit located at Beebe; the Interfaith Chapel, the construction of the new facility for the Margaret H. Rollins School of Nursing; and the outpatient facility that opened in September 2013 in the College Park Medical Pavilion in Georgetown. Auxiliary members also volunteer at the Patient Information Desk in the medical center.
Each year during the annual luncheon, the auxiliary recognizes individuals who have given great support to Beebe and to the auxiliary. This year, member Margaret Santmyer was honored for her 30 years of dedication. Over the years, she has given more than 11,000 hours of service. Clemmer also was recognized for his service.
Three honored guests attending the luncheon were recognized. They were Connie E. Bushey, MSN, MEd, RN, who recently retired from her position as director of the Margaret H. Rollins School of Nursing; Joseph R. Hudson, emeritus member of the Beebe Board and member of the Beebe Medical Foundation Board; and Paul Mylander, chairman of the Beebe Medical Foundation Board and member of the Beebe Board of Directors.
The Hon. William Swain Lee, chair of the Board of Beebe Healthcare, thanked the Auxiliary and also applauded Fried for his leadership.
The new elected officers also were installed. They were Wendell Alfred, president; Nancy Tartaglione, first vice president; Carol McDonald, second vice president; Patricia Sandy, treasurer; Rosey Vanderhoogt, recording secretary; Eileen Thompson, corresponding secretary; and Lesley Nance, member-at-large. Dr. Lester Levin, who was not present, is being installed as the assistant treasurer.
Beebe Healthcare is a not-for-profit community healthcare system with a charitable mission to encourage healthy living, prevent illness, and restore optimal health for the people residing, working, or visiting in the communities it serves. It offers services throughout southern Delaware including a 210-licensed-bed hospital, a cancer center, and outpatient facilities at multiple sites providing walk-in care, lab, imaging, and physical rehab services. For more information, go to www.beebehealthcare.org.