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2014 News

Published on January 03, 2014

Auxiliary completes $1 million, five-year Community Hospital pledge


Contact: Brenda Moore (831) 625-4544
Communication and Marketing: (831) 625-4505


Steven Packer, MD, president/CEO of Community Hospital, center, receives a $200,000 check from Auxiliary members, from left, Jane Roberts,  Chuck Wash,  Mary Castagna, Auxiliary president, Lisa Sargisson, and Barbara Furtado.

MONTEREY, Calif. — A targeted effort to improve care of older adults while they are in the hospital has received a $200,000 contribution from the Auxiliary of Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, completing a five-year, $1 million pledge by the service organization.


The Auxiliary’s gift supports Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE), a program created at New York University College of Nursing and subsequently adopted at more than 500 hospitals and healthcare facilities throughout North America. Community Hospital received NICHE certification in 2013.


“Although the Auxiliary is primarily a service organization, we are pleased to provide this financial support to our hospital,” says Mary Castagna, Auxiliary president. “Our volunteers staff 14 services throughout the hospital and its off-site locations and we feel that the NICHE program will further enhance the fine care  provided to our senior patients and their families. “


The contribution is the latest in an annual tradition by the Auxiliary and caps a five-year, $1 million pledge. The group has pledged to give the hospital an additional $1 million over the next five years. The funds are raised through sales at the hospital’s Comforts gift shop and Fountain Court Café. Both are staffed primarily by the Auxiliary, whose members give nearly 80,000 hours of service to the hospital annually.


“The Auxiliary is an extremely positive force at Community Hospital in terms of both the service its members provide our patients, visitors, and staff and in the funds raised,” says Steven Packer, MD, president/CEO of Community Hospital. “Through their volunteer experiences, Auxiliary members know firsthand that many of our patients are elderly and will benefit from the NICHE program.”


Through training and education of staff, NICHE is designed to:
• increase awareness of geriatric issues
• improve skills in geriatric care
• support implementation of evidence-based protocols to enhance patient safety and reduce common clinical conditions such as pressure ulcers, certain infections, adverse medication reactions, and falls

The program is being introduced in phases, beginning at Westland House, Community Hospital’s skilled nursing and hospice center.

The Auxiliary has more than 400 adult, college, and junior members who meet a range of needs at Community Hospital and its outpatient facilities. In addition to working in the gift shop and café, members staff information desks, assist families and staff in the Emergency department, escort discharged patients, support the Blood Center and Carol Hatton Breast Care Center, and more. Members are always needed and orientations are held monthly; the next session is from 2-4 p.m. on January 27. For information, call 625-4555 or go to and click on “I want to volunteer.”





CommunityHospital of the MontereyPeninsula, established in 1934, has grown and evolved in direct response to the changing healthcare needs of the people it serves. It is a nonprofit healthcare provider with 207 staffed acute-care hospital beds and 28 skilled-nursing beds, delivering a continuum of care from birth to end of life, and every stage in between. It serves the MontereyPeninsula and surrounding communities through locations including the main hospital, outpatient facilities, satellite laboratories, a mental health clinic, a short-term skilled nursing facility, Hospice of the CentralCoast, Montage Wellness Center, and business offices. Find more information about CommunityHospital of the MontereyPeninsula at

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