News & Events

90 years of service highlighted at Auxiliary’s annual meeting

October 11, 2013

Originally founded to make a patient’s stay as positive as possible, the Backus Auxiliary’s mission has expanded and evolved over the last nine decades to continue to meet the needs of a growing health system.

At the Auxiliary’s annual meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 8, Auxiliary President, Mimi-Learned Daigle, commended Auxiliary members for their dedication to supporting health care initiatives at Backus Hospital.

“I have been involved with the Auxiliary for 19 years,” said Learned-Daigle.  “During this time, the Auxiliary has given more than $1 million to Backus Hospital.”

Learned-Daigle highlighted the Auxiliary’s major contributions during this time:

  • 2013 – $100K was pledged to The Boutique
  • 2012 – $250K was pledged to the Plainfield Emergency Care Center
  • 2011 – $120K was pledged to the obesity program
  • 2006 – $600K was pledged to the Medical Office Building construction

In addition to these major gifts, the Auxiliary provides camisoles for post-operative breast surgery patients; kerchiefs and turbans to chemotherapy patients; pediatric caps to patients in Same Day Surgery; File of Life packets to senior citizens; patient tray favors during the holidays; and annual scholarships each year to those pursuing careers in health care.

Learned-Daigle said funds for these projects are raised through four major sources – gift shop sales, canteen sales, the vendor sale program, and fundraisers including the annual mini-golf tournament and the Ghoulish Goblets wine and microbrew tasting party.

As keynote speaker of the event, Backus President and Chief Executive Officer Dave Whitehead spoke about Backus’ affiliation with Hartford HealthCare (HHC), and what the partnership means to residents of Eastern Connecticut.

Whitehead explained how Backus and Windham hospitals have to come together, under the umbrella of HHC to comprise the East Region.

“Services of both organizations will come together to delivery seamless care to people living in New London and Windham counties,” said Whitehead.  “Care will be delivered on one platform throughout Eastern Connecticut.”

Using an Olympics analogy, Whitehead said, “This approach will allow us to be a gold medal team.  We’ll be able to delivery safe, quality care without dropping the baton.  Simply stated, our goal is to give the right care, at the right place, at the right time.”

In his message, Whitehead pointed out that acting alone, Backus could not achieve the high-level accomplishments that are rapidly unfolding.  With nearly identical missions, Backus and HHC are working together to improve access to care across the continuum throughout Eastern Connecticut.

“Our affiliation is giving us the opportunity to change the face of healthcare delivery across the state,” he said.

He also noted that the partnership with HHC has given Backus access to the recent alliance with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSK).   The alliance was designed to provide patients with access to MSK treatment, protocols and trials in the community hospital setting.

As he neared the end of his remarks, Whitehead thanked the Auxiliary for their commitment to the programs and services provided by Backus.

“What you all do is so critically important to helping us carry out our mission,” he said.  “What you do touches patients each and every day. Thank you for helping us to provide quality, safe patient care.”