By CATHY MOUNCE
Register Staff Writer
At the Wednesday meeting, the Gainesville Lion’s Club learned about the importance of hospital volunteers, upcoming North Texas Medical Center activities and the new “Vial of Life" program from NTMC community outreach and development director Kristi Rigsby.
Rigsby said that one of her responsibilities includes coordination of the NTMC nonprofit auxiliary group of volunteers whose primary functions are to serve the hospital and staff and to assist with fundraising.
“We are so fortunate to have such a great group of volunteers in our 72 count auxiliary group,” she said. “Over 45 members who work at least three hours each week are currently active and are a big part of what makes our hospital so special.”
Auxiliary volunteer Judy Grudowski of Thackerville, Okla. said volunteering at the hospital has been a very uplifting experience for her.
“My husband and I traveled around RV’ing for several years and found ourselves back in Gainesville facing health issues for my husband,” Grodowski said. “I am so glad we were in Gainesville to benefit from the wonderful services and staff found at NTMC. It made it easy for me to volunteer and to help where I can.”
Rigsby said her outreach responsibilities also include working with the NTMC Foundation which not only handles donations to assist the hospital with purchases of needed or updated equipment and funding of building improvement projects but also coordinates the awarding of scholarships.
”We have 12 scholarships that are awarded each year,” she said. “Six go to high school seniors and six scholarships are awarded to NTMC employees and staff for continuing education classes,” she explained.
A new potentially life saving program introduced to Cooke County residents is called “Vial of Life” in which individuals fill out medical information including medications used, blood type, physician information for easy access by emergency personnel in a crises. A sticker on the front door of the home will be an indication that the information is readily available inside.
Rigsby said without information regarding patient history delayed treatments could be the difference between a full recovery or not
She also said over 2000 vials have been distributed around Cooke county currently and hopes that more residents will participate in the program. Those traveling are urged to carry the vial with medical information with them.
Upcoming activities for the NTMC foundation include the popular “Sky’s The Limit” balloon festival in September. Coordination of the event is underway with over 25 balloonists, vendors and sponsors signing up for the two-day event.
For more information regarding volunteering at the hospital, the vial of life program or upcoming events contact Kristi Rigsby at email@example.com.
Other Lion’s Club activities on the agenda included the installation of officers Friday evening at 6 p.m. at the Landmark Bank building.
Also members of the Lion’s Club collected $88 during the lunch meeting for the benefit of Volunteers in Service to Others (VISTO).