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Wheeling Hospital Auxiliary Earns Major State and District Honors

November 9, 2018

WHEELING – The Wheeling Hospital Auxiliary came away with three major awards at the recent annual luncheon hosted by the Auxiliary of West Virginia Hospital Association (AWVHA).

The local Auxiliary won the AWVHA’s top honor in the Northern District, as well as the entire state, for its Memory Box service project, and brought home the winning plaque in the Northern District for fundraising for the Donna Tyson/Oncology Fund project.

“Needless to say, we are over the top with excitement and pride,” said Auxiliary President Vicky Musicaro. “I am very proud of our Auxiliary, and all the hard work that the board and membership do every year for Wheeling Hospital.”

The Memory Box project was begun in 2006 when the Auxiliary formed a partnership with the hospital’s bereavement program.

“When parents lose a child through stillbirth or newborn death, they lose a part of their future,” Musicaro said. “It is especially at this time that memories have life-long value.”

The Memory Box provided by the Auxiliary holds sensitively created items so the grieving parents have memories to take home. The items include a picture of the baby, the baby’s footprints placed in the form of a “V,” resembling a heart. It also includes a soft fabric poncho and mat with a matching heart pillow, a sympathy card, a mother’s journal and other meaningful items. The box itself is covered in a natural colored paper decorated with a dark green ribbon.

Wendy Cook, RN, director of Women’s Services, said, “The parents sometimes only have a day or two to make memories with their child to last a lifetime, which makes this Memory Box so important to them.”

She said the Bereavement Support Persons Committee are Women’s Services nurses who have been specially trained in the process of loss and grieving in pregnancy and the first year of life. These nurses are provide support to the family while in the hospital and after discharge.

The inspiration for the Donna Tyson/Oncology Fund project was Donna Tyson herself. At conferences in early 2017, several Auxiliary members heard guest speaker Tyson talk of her battle with cancer, her missionary work and her spirituality. They were so impressed by her inspirational message that they decided to bring Tyson to Wheeling for a community outreach program.

The Auxiliary charged those attending the program $10 to raise money for the hospital’s Oncology Fund to help cancer patients going through treatment. After Tyson’s presentation, a total of $2,450 was presented to the fund.

“Although this wasn’t the largest amount we’ve ever given to our hospital, it was big in terms of the help it could provide to cancer patients, the awareness it brought to the Oncology Fund, and how it tied into Donna Tyson’s own cancer experiences when she had no insurance and received help from friends and the community,” Musicaro said. “It just made perfect sense to partner Donna and the fund.”

Meanwhile, in a business meeting at the AWVHA luncheon, former Wheeling Hospital Auxiliary Caroll Mazure was elected secretary of the AWVHA Board of Directors.

The Wheeling Hospital Auxiliary began in 1935 and now has more than 300 members. In addition to the AWVHA, it also is associated with the American Hospital Association of Hospital Auxiliaries. Funds raised by the Auxiliary have helped provide a wide range of equipment and services to enable Wheeling Hospital to continue to meet the region’s health needs. Just since 1984, the Auxiliary has provided millions of dollars to help continue the hospital’s mission of a Tradition of Excellence; Legacy of Caring.

For more information on the Auxiliary, or to inquire about joining, call Vicky Musicaro at 304-242-1262 or Mary Ellen Woodland at 740-695-0535.

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Contact: Gregg Warren, Vice President, Marketing/Public Relations, 304-243-3260

With the plaques awarded by the Auxiliary of West Virginia Hospital Association are Wheeling Hospital Auxiliary members, from left: Vice President Charla Franke; Secretary Carolyn Mox; Corresponding Secretary Becky Martino; President-Elect Rowena Baker; Treasurer Susan Jones; and President Vicky Musicaro. The local Auxiliary won the AWVHA’s top honor in the Northern District, as well as the entire state, for its Memory Box service project, and brought home the winning plaque in the Northern District for fundraising for the Donna Tyson/Oncology Fund project. Mox is holding a Memory Box.