St. Joseph’s Hospitals Auxiliary: Four Hospitals, Seven Decades, Hundreds of Volunteers, and Millions of Dollars in Support of St. Joe’s
At a time when most people are starting to think about retiring, Dorothy Delisle had no desire to slow down. That’s when the then-58-year-old decided to join the St. Joseph’s Hospitals Auxiliary as one of their many dedicated volunteers. For the next four decades – and over 11,000 volunteer hours – Dorothy could be found each week assisting patients and their families at the surgical waiting room desk, eventually becoming Auxiliary President.
“I became a volunteer with the hospital Auxiliary because I felt a need to do something that would help others. The Auxiliary was a great choice and I’m proud to have given many years of service. Volunteering with the Auxiliary had a positive impact on my life in many ways. Those years passed by quickly because I really loved what I was doing,” shared Dorothy, who recently celebrated her 102nd birthday.
Although her “official” time with the Auxiliary ended in 2014, Dorothy continues to stay up to date on their efforts, which have resulted in over $9 million in donations to St. Joseph’s Hospitals since 1957.
The St. Joseph’s Hospitals Auxiliary was organized under the sponsorship of the Catholic Women’s Club of Hillsborough County as the St. Joseph’s Women’s Auxiliary. Active services began in October 1957 on the site of the hospital’s original location on Seventh Avenue and twenty-three years after St. Joe’s first opened its doors to the community. A year later the first gift shop – the centerpiece of the Auxiliary’s fundraising efforts – was opened and operated solely by Auxiliary volunteers.
Now, as one of St. Joseph’s Hospitals most generous donors, the St. Joseph’s Hospitals Auxiliary relies on almost four hundred volunteers like Dorothy to do everything from managing the various boutique-style gift shops to organizing specialty on-site sales and fundraising events of baked goods, scrubs, linens, jewelry, and books, to greeting patients and visitors at the main desk or waiting rooms, as Dorothy had for so many years. Auxiliary membership includes volunteers at four hospitals: St. Joseph’s Hospital, St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, St. Joseph Hospital-North, and St. Joseph Hospital-South and the money raised supports projects at each facility.
The gift shops represent the bulk of the Auxiliary’s incredibly generous donations, and the proceeds raised have been instrumental in providing St. Joseph’s Hospitals with much needed resources to help continue ensuring the best possible care for the Tampa Bay community.
Past support has included in part $1 million dedicated toward the construction of St. Joseph’s Hospital Tower and a pedestrian bridge connecting St. Joseph’s Hospital with St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital making services between the two quickly available without an ambulance as well as $1 million toward the 2014 opening of the Heart and Vascular Institute.
Most recently, the Auxiliary has pledged $1.5 million in funding over the next five years, with the first of the allocations going toward two different orthopedic robotic surgery assistants (ROSA and CORI); four ECG machines – two for the main hospital and two for St. Joseph’s Hospital-South; specialized imaging equipment and a bladder scanner for the Emergency Room for St. Joseph’s Hospital-North; and thirty-five parent sleep chairs for the Children’s Hospital. The Auxiliary is currently working with each of the four hospitals to identify other areas of need that will benefit from the remainder of the available funding during the five-year timeframe.
The dedication of volunteers like Dorothy – whose long tenure with the Auxiliary is not uncommon – is at the heart of all they have accomplished, and as the Auxiliary looks forward to celebrating its 65th anniversary in the fall of 2022, Karen Telfer, Director of Volunteer Services shares, “People see our volunteers, and I don’t think they realize the role the Auxiliary has in partnering with St. Joe’s to secure the equipment, technology, infrastructure, and programs needed to offer our community such exceptional care. The hospital relies on the generosity of others to accomplish all they do, and the Auxiliary and our volunteers are a big part of that.”
The next time you browse the gift shop, visit a patient, or check in for procedure, don’t forget that the smiling faces or helpful hands you encounter are likely part of this amazing network of volunteers that has been instrumental in helping to ensure St. Joseph’s Hospital, St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, St. Joseph Hospital-North, and St. Joseph Hospital-South can keep their community members healthy and thriving.
For a list of other projects funded by the St. Josephs Hospitals Auxiliary over the years, see below.
1957-2011 $6 million. To St. Joseph’s Hospital/St. Joseph’s Children Hospital
2012-2016 1.2 million. $1 million for the Heart and Vascular Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital, plus $200,000 for specific needs at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, St. Joseph’s Hospital-North and St. Joseph’s Hospital-South
2017-2021 1.5 million. $1 million for the Tower and Pedestrian Bridge connecting St. Joseph’s Hospital and St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital, plus $500,000 for specific needs as follows:
SJH-$20,000 Treadmills for Cardiac Rehab, Monitors for Cardiovascular Operating Rooms
SJCH-$28,000 Pediatric Glidescope
SJHS-$24,000 Monica Fetal Monitors and Portable Vein Viewers
SJHN-$28,000 3D Upgrade for Affinity 70 Echocardiography Unit
SJH/SJCH Emergency Departments-$50,000 SonoSite Ultrasound Machines
SJHS-$26,000 NeoProbe & Giraffe Phototherapy System
SJHN-$24,000 Mobile Healthcare Recliners
SJH-$25,000 Transport Monitors
SJCH-$25,000 Flexible Pediatric Bronchoscope
SJHS-$25,000 SonoSite Ultrasound L25X Transducer & Comfort/Safety Wheelchairs
SJHN-$25,000 Carescape Monitor for an Endoscopy Suite and a Renova Parecentesis Pump
SJH-$25,000 Cardiac Hybrid Room
SJCH-$25,000 Panda Baby Warmer
SJHS-$25,000 Hologic Fluid Control System
SJHN-$25,000 Orthopedic Surgical Drill-Striker System 8
SJH/SJCH-$45,000 Patient Transport Van for Behavioral Health
SJHS-$25,000 Pyxis 7-Drawer Med Station
SJHN-$30,000 Swallow Station TIMS MVP for Modified Barium Swallow Studies
Additional Ad Hoc Grant $100,000:
SJH/SJCH/SJHN/SJHS-$63,500- 50 Staxi Wheelchairs
SJH & SJHN-$16,000 M44 Sterile Driers
SJHS-$8,500- 5 SpO2 Cables
SJHS-$12,000- 3 Laparoscopes
2022-2026 (New Pledge)
$1 million for SJH for Orthopedic Robotic Systems, plus $500,000 for specific needs at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, St. Joseph’s Hospital-North and St. Joseph’s Hospital-South.
SJH-$32,500 for 2 ECG Machines
SJHS-$32,500 for 2 ECG Machines
SJCH-$20,000 Revitalizing 35 Parent Sleep Chairs
SJHN-$15,000 Butterfly IQ Ultrasound for Labor & Delivery and Bladder Scanner for Emergency Department