The KMC Auxiliary, as it is now known, was started in 1969 and after "officially" being recognized by the Kern County Board of Supervisors in 1970. Prior to that the volunteer group was called the Gray Ladies of the Red Cross. There were 12 ladies originally and 4 of the original members are still volunteering here at Kern Medical Center. One of our members has over 27,000 hours of service. We now have 126 Auxiliary members of which over 50 are active. In addition, there are about 90 students from the East Bakersfield Health Careers Academy.
This past fiscal year, the Auxiliary donated $184,369 worth of equipment, service projects and scholarships on behalf of Kern Medical Center and over 18,964 hours of service. If each volunteer were actually paid for these hours,KMC would have saved the county taxpayers $273,588. This is in addition to the equipment the Auxiliary supplies. Overall, in the last 31 years, the Auxiliary has donated over $1,658,800 worth of equipment and 267,500 in volunteer hours of service.
The KMC Auxiliary is a non-profit corporation whose mission is to render volunteer services to Kern Medical Center, the patients, visitors and family members; to promote public relations for KMC in the community; to raise funds for the betterment of the hospital and to promote interest in health careers.
The Auxiliary is supported by the profits of the Auxiliary Gift Shop, Snack Bar, Growing Families nursery photo service, Emergency Department vending machines, as well as memorials and private donations. Over the years, we have received requests from various hospital departments to provide necessary equipment items such as a needle biopsy mammography machine, wall murals for Pediatrics and Sagebrush, a bone density machine, an audiology machine to screen newborn infant hearing, historical picture display of the hospital (along the first floor and main entrance), and the fountain located in the cafeteria courtyard, to name a few.
In addition, we support education programs such as the Research Forum, Bakersfield College and Cal State University of Bakersfield nursing programs through scholarships, as well as hospital expansions. In the near future a new Quiet Room (sanctuary) for families and visitors to sit and pray, meditate or think about their loved one that may be hospitalized or in our care will be built.
The Auxiliary members serve in the following departments: Surgery Family Information Center, Medical Library, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Pediatrics, Bookmobile, Snack Bar, Gift Shop, D-Wing Information Desk, Elderlife Adult Day Healthcare, and Sagebrush Medical Plaza. The Auxiliary has members who are assigned to keep track of awards & hours, make baby hats, organize Christmas, New Years events, keep a historic log of hours, promote hospitality and serve in the inpatient psychiatric unit. There are also committees assigned to mailing lists, newsletter, nominating committee, scholarship, sunshine and telephoning.
In addition, several members serve on the Executive Board and provide Administrative leadership to the Auxiliary as our President, 1st Vice-President, Recording Secretary, Corresponding, Secretary, Treasurer, Financial Secretary, Auditor, Parliamentarian Bylaws and Policy.
The Auxiliary is always seeking men and women, young and old who will join in them in their pledge of continuous service to the hospital. As the hospital expands, so does the Auxiliary, offering new services and activities for the volunteers. More than 30 years and thousands of hours are part of their history and in order to continue in the next century the Auxiliary needs to enrich and enlarge their service. They need ideas, energy, and efforts of those men and women who will choose to join with them in their cause to bring health and the very best medical care to the hospital and our community.
Annual membership has remained the same over past the 30 years, and the dues go into the Auxiliary's general fund. Membership is broken down into four categories:
Active Adult Membership--$5
Junior Membership ( still in high school)--$3
Sustaining membership (Not active)--$10
Life Membership (one time only)--$100
Volunteers are appreciated for their support and willingness to volunteer time and energy to Kern Medical Center and the community of Kern.