Established in 1924, the Auxiliary is a group of volunteers who raise funds to meet LHSC’s highest priority needs in the areas of research, patient care and education.
The Auxiliary was founded in April of 1924. The board was comprised of 12 women who were deemed socially suitable to be involved in the formation of the Women’s Auxiliary Board of Victoria Hospital. They were wives of doctors, politicians and military elite. By 1930, the Auxiliary members had taken on a variety of roles such as:
- Sewing towels, sheets, pillow cases and diapers
- Serving tea to pre-natal patients
- Supplying and delivering flowers to patients on the wards
- Establishing a scholarship for post graduate studies at UWO.
Initially, the Auxiliary was not a fund-raising organization, but as it began to accumulate more money from the teas, socials and other activities they organized, the Auxiliary began to make large donations for equipment and resources.
In 1937, the Auxiliary donated $250 towards the purchase of an Iron Lung to help in the fight against Polio which had broken out in London. They also provided $500 to purchase the fabric to make curtains to section off beds so patients could have privacy on the wards.
In 1941, when a new wing was added to The South Street Hospital, the Auxiliary donated $3,500 towards the furnishing of the Nursery.
As early as 1931, the Auxiliary organized a Cancer Control Committee, whose purpose was to educate the public regarding symptoms and treatment of cancer. It was the first group of its kind in Ontario. From 1938 to 1960, another group entitled the Cancer Clinic Committee, made daily visits to serve coffee and visit with patients. The Cancer Clinic Committee also initiated the purchase of equipment for the Cancer Wing, and provided newspaper and magazines for the waiting rooms.
In 1930, the LHSC Auxiliary established the first scholarship for post graduate nursing studies in North America. The scholarship continues to this day by recognizing the academic efforts of one LHSC employee and one LHSC student volunteer.
In 1961, members of the Auxiliary voted to donate $100,000 to help with the hospital’s new School of Nursing and the addition to Gartshore Nurses Residence. This amount later increased to $129,800.
During the first 50 years of its service to the hospital, the Auxiliary donated more than $615,000 thousand and presented more than $25,000 thousand in scholarship money.
Over the next three and half decades, the Auxiliary opened three new gift shops, initiated the Hospital Equipment Lottery for Projects Helping People (HELPP) and selected projects to fund. In 1985, the Auxiliary and the London Health Sciences Foundation (LHSF) agreed to begin making donations for highest needs through the LHSF.