NIH Auxiliary helps hospital gain Video Endoscope

Posted by Seth Conners

According to Barbara Laughon at NIHD, a recent equipment donation from the Northern Inyo Hospital Auxiliary is once again making a positive difference in healthcare offered during emergencies.
The NIH Auxiliary’s donation of $30,000 to purchase a Flexible Video Endoscope for use in the hospital’s Emergency Department. Endoscopes are used to secure airways in patients who are suffering respiratory distress and have difficult airways to manage.
“It also allows us to look for foreign obstructions or injuries to the nasal passages and the area behind the oral cavity,” said Dr. Jennie Walker, Director of Eastern Sierra Emergency Physicians, which provides physician staffing to the hospital’s Emergency Department. “It is definitely for life-saving procedures involving the airways.”
Dr. Walker said the emergency physicians greatly appreciate the efforts the Auxiliary puts forward to assist the hospital. “They truly make the difference here at Northern Inyo Hospital,” she said. “Their commitment to service and to providing the medical team with equipment like the endoscope is to be commended.”
For hospital Chief Executive Officer Kevin S. Flanigan, MD MBA, it is the Auxiliary’s method of fundraising that $30,000 that causes him to smile.
“When you think about how the Auxiliary raises its funds, you develop an appreciation for what they do,” Dr. Flanigan said. “They operate our Gift Shop, they sell See’s Candy, and they hold yard sales and Christmas boutiques. That’s how they make money to assist us in providing needed equipment. The Auxiliary is a true testament to our mission statement in that a small group working together for the common good can make a real difference – one team, one goal, your health.”
Established in 1963, the Auxiliary has donated more than $500,000 to purchase life-saving equipment for the hospital. To date, equipment purchases offset by Auxiliary donations include the Emergency Department’s Ultrasound machine, the Automated Breast Ultrasound machine which allows early detection of breast cancer in women with dense breast tissue, and a mini Immunoassay Analyzer, which increased the hospital’s ability to diagnose and treat bacterial infections.
Auxiliary President Judy Fratella said the group is continually working toward its next contribution to the hospital. “We have monthly business meetings and boutique workshops – all held at the hospital’s Birch Street Annex, located on the corner of Grandview and Birch streets. We welcome new members, so anyone interested in coming to one of our meetings and seeing what we are about is invited to do so.”
The Auxiliary meets the third Wednesday of each month at 10 a.m. at the hospital’s Birch Street Annex, located on the northeast corner of Birch and Grandview, just across the street from the Jill Kinmont Boothe School.
Fratella said the Auxiliary is already looking forward to its next Christmas Boutique, which for the first time in many years will have a new home – the Board of Directors Room at the Birch Street Annex. “We have so many things planned and moving to the Board Room, well, that will give us so much more room for craft displays,” Fratellla said. “Hopefully that space will equate to more sales so we can continue to help the hospital with these needed equipment purchases.
For more information about the Northern Inyo Hospital Auxiliary, call Judy Fratella at (760) 873-4059.

Caption: NIH Emergency Department physicians, Drs. Doris Lin and Jennie Walker are shown with the Flexible Video Endoscope recently donated to the Emergency Department by the Northern Inyo Hospital Auxiliary, represented here by Auxiliary President Judy Fratella, Treasurer Sharon Moore and Historian Betty Anziano. Photo by Barbara Laughon/Northern Inyo Healthcare District.