The angels of NIH Auxiliary purchase ‘Halo Bassinests’

Press release

The Northern Inyo Hospital Auxiliary ended 2017 on a high note, with an announcement that their fundraising efforts garnered the group almost $31,000, nearly $11,000 more than the previous year. The money raised by the Auxiliary helps bring additional needed equipment to the Northern Inyo Healthcare District.

NIHD Labor and Delivery Nurse LaCondala Bridges, NIH Auxiliary President Judy Fratella, NIHD Labor and Delivery Nurse Pam Madison and NIH Auxiliary Treasurer Sharon Moore show how the new “Halo Bassinests” cribs can be placed over a new mother’s hospital bed, reducing a mother’s risk for fall or accidentally dropping a baby. The Auxiliary recently purchased five cribs for the hospital’s Perinatal Department at a cost of about $16,000. Photo by Barbara Laughon/Northern Inyo Healthcare District

Standing before the membership at its annual holiday luncheon, Auxiliary President Judy Fratella proudly listed the income from the Auxiliary’s two holiday boutiques, See’s Candy sales, and community donations. As the members’ applause subsided, an obviously moved Fratella thanked each and every member for their commitment not just to the Auxiliary, but to the health and well being of those living in the Northern Inyo Healthcare District.

You all worked so diligently and so hard this year,” Fratella said. “The patients we help thank you; the healthcare district thanks you; and, I thank you. This is my joy and I know all of you feel the same way. We do this to improve the lives of others and to make a positive difference.”

Among the purchases made this year by the NIH Auxiliary were five swivel sleepers, called “Halo Bassinests,” designed to give mothers safer access to their newborns while in the hospital. The sleepers are on height adjustable bases, allowing the cribs to be positioned over the mother’s hospital bed. The sleepers can then be positioned within the mother’s natural reach. Clear, retractable, yet lockable, sidewalls allow a mother easy access to her newborn.

All of this dramatically reduces the risk of the mother falling while trying to get to a stationary crib near her bed, and it reduces the risk of the newborn falling to the floor. The Auxiliary purchased five cribs for $16,000.

Summer Gilstrap, manager of NIHD’s Perinatal Department, pointed out that the cribs empower a mother to easily care for her child, promote “skin-to-skin” bonding as well as breastfeeding, and help model safe sleeping practices for when the family goes home.

Several of our mothers have been complimentary about the cribs,” Gilstrap said. “We are so appreciative of the Auxiliary and their efforts. In this case, they improved safety for our smallest patients and we are grateful to the Auxiliary for all that they do for NIHD.”

The purpose of the NIH Auxiliary is to render service to the hospital and its patients through ways approved or proposed by the Governing Board of the Northern Inyo Healthcare District. Founded in the early 1960s, the Auxiliary has raised and donated in excess of $500,000 toward equipment purchases for the hospital.

The Auxiliary raises its funds through its hospital gift shop sales and the Holiday Craft Boutique events. Anyone interested in making a financial donation, or interested in joining the Auxiliary, may call Sharon Moore at (760) 872-4198.

About Northern Inyo Healthcare District: Founded in 1946, Northern Inyo Healthcare District features a 25-bed critical access hospital, a 24-hour emergency department, a primary care rural health clinic, a diagnostic imaging center, and clinics specializing in women’s health, orthopedics, internal medicine, pediatrics and allergies, and general surgery. Continually striving to improve the health outcomes of those who rely on its services, Northern Inyo Healthcare District aims to improve our communities one life at a time. One team, one goal, your health.

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