In our quest for those folks that I like to call “interesting people” we seem to find them— for the most part—by accident. We get started on one task and we seem to run across another one, most of the time a lady, and, lo, we have ourselves an interesting person.
Such was the case the other day when I went up to the Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center to meet with Linda Wood, one of the volunteers at Sharp.
Linda has been a member of the volunteers, known officially as the Sharp Chula Vista Auxiliary, for 11 years. She is the incoming president of the unit and they will be observing their general membership luncheon on Sept. 17 there at the volunteer wing of the hospital building.
Between Linda and Bonitan Bud Wilson we were able to obtain a rather brief history of the hospital. Those of us who have been around here for some years remember the hospital as a small building on F Street in downtown Chula Vista. We learn that the hospital was built for $5.6 million and it boasted 131 beds. Today that amount would probably build a three-bed space, certainly not much more than that.
The auxiliary has been around a long time, certainly before the present hospital over on Medical Center Court off L Street was erected. The auxiliary, in fact, according to Wilson, was highly instrumental in the new hospital. They, alone, raised $500,000 toward the building, a sum that let the hospital board go on to other business.
The completion of the Chula Vista Community Hospital, the name of the unit at that time, was in 1975.
Wilson explained how the hill housing the structure had no roads leading to it. It was farm land with hardly a structure in sight. Starting in 1973 the city built roads so that construction could start. The end result is what we now see, a structure that houses the sick and injured of the community and which has a very high rating among medical facilities in the county. It has had a few additions and other added amenities in the years following.
Wood tells me that the auxiliary now numbers between 350 and 400 members, most of them active. Their backgrounds are from all walks of life. Some of them are former nurses whose lifelong goal is the medical aid.
Some have taught and others have been what they call homemakers. Linda told me that she was a secretary in industry, spending a few years at Rohr.
As volunteers they work in three hour shifts, from eight in the morning until five in the afternoon. Their tasks vary from manning the front desk and directing visitors to clerking the gift and thrift shop to assisting nurses and other hospital personnel to generally being one of the “go for” people.
I spoke with Irene Tayag, the coordinator of the volunteer services. She, and the volunteer services manager, Lisa Golden, speak highly of the auxiliary and say that without them things would not run as smoothly or efficiently as they do.
As with most auxiliaries’ one of their important tasks—probably their most important task—is raising funds.
A hospital such as Sharp, that is so outreaching and that, by necessity, must keep up with changing times, is always in need of something, be it a monstrous new wing or a simple instrument. The auxiliary is, of course, one of the first suppliers. They raise money through a number of ways, through the proceeds from the gift and thrift shops, through the philanthropy of members and through simple fund raisers.
Linda told me of one very profitable event: the no-bake sale. Don’t bother baking anything to sell; just bring the money. She has something there. Look at the heat that the no bake keeps out of the kitchen.
We are told that as many as 50 members will attend the general membership luncheon on Sept. 17.
In addition to some necessary business to be conducted they will be entertained by the ukelele group from the Norman Center, “The Merrie Ukes.” We thus will see “two interesting groups,” one happy that they are able to hear a musical group and the other happy that there is such a devoted bevy of folks like Linda Wood, taking care of the health of the community.
Combinations like that are hard to beat.