About the Auxiliary – Dedicated to Serving the needs of St. Joseph’s Health
The Auxiliary of St. Joseph’s Health Hospital is an organization of approximately 600 men and women dedicated to serving the needs of St. Joseph’s Health Hospital. The Auxiliary dates back to the establishment of the hospital and has proudly served the institution through the years.
In 1869, moved by the need to care for those who suffered from the diseases of the time and desiring to extend their aid to the poor, five Sisters of St. Francis purchased a dance hall and saloon on Prospect Hill for $12,000. On May 6 of that year, the sisters opened the doors of St. Joseph’s Hospital, then a 15-bed facility with a yearly payroll of $100. It was Syracuse’s first hospital.
Along with the city’s first hospital came the formation of the first hospital Auxiliary. Mrs. Hannah Pease, a physician’s wife, recognized that the sisters needed linens for the hospital. In 1870, Mrs. Pease, along with 45 other dedicated women, formed the Ladies’ Aid Society. They met in their homes to sew for the sisters. This group became the nucleus of the Women’s Auxiliary, officially formed in 1888 and is now known as The Auxiliary of St. Joseph’s Health Hospital.
More than 150 years later, the Auxiliary still exists to benefit St. Joseph’s. The group currently has more than 30 committees and service projects and is directed by a volunteer board. Recent fund-raising efforts have provided the hospital with an annual six-figure donation from the Auxiliary with gifts, since record keeping began in the 1990’s, totaling over $9 million.
The Auxiliary initiated many fundraising programs & events, services and programs to St. Joseph’s including:
- Holy Grounds Coffee Shop
- Lori’s Gift Shop
- Annual Lighting the Way
- Vending Machine Service
- Annual Wine, Craft Beer & Spirits Tasting
Services to the Hospital Patients and CNY Community:
- Care Coordination Pantry
- Emergency Department Care & Share Closet
- Operation Backpack
- The Ellen Needham Pediatric Needs Fund
St. Joseph’s Health College of Nursing:
- Sister Wilhelmina Scholarship – two partial annual tuition awards given to nursing students
- Sister Mary Obrist Scholarship – full tuition given annually to one nursing student
The Auxiliary works closely with the hospital’s Volunteer Office, and many Auxiliary members serve as hospital volunteers.
The Auxiliary holds an Annual Meeting and Luncheon in May where they present the Hospital with their annual gift, elect the new slate of officers, present the Hannah Fuller Pease Auxiliary Service Award to an Auxiliary member and honor the College of Nursing Students who were chosen to receive the annual scholarships.
Those interested in helping continue the tradition of giving to St. Joseph’s Hospital and helping to provide needed services are encouraged to join the Auxiliary. For membership information please contact the Auxiliary Office at 315-448-6100.