Rosemary Fox has held many hospital auxiliary-related leadership positions, from chair of the America Hospital Association's Committee on Volunteers to the State Council of Auxiliaries to the Northside Hospital Auxiliary.
However, the Roswell resident has another distinction, which she has somewhat mixed feelings about. She is the last active charter member of the Northside Auxiliary, which serves Northside’s Sandy Springs hospital and is turning 50 this year.
“We started the auxiliary with 25 members (in 1969) and expanded to 292 members, 100 in full uniform, when the hospital opened in 1970,” she said of the group, which was founded March 19, 1969. “We have grown to the point where the auxiliary now works to provide more than 30 services throughout the hospital and we now have more than 300 auxiliary members.”
Fox and her family moved from White Plains. New York, to Sandy Springs in 1965, and today she is a widow with four children and seven grandchildren. According to Fox, prior to Northside’s opening, there were no medical facilities within 15 miles of Sandy Springs, despite the city’s growth in business and population.
“When we heard (Fulton County) officials were thinking about putting a hospital in our area, we were elated, and numerous people were happy to join the auxiliary when they heard one was forming for the Northside Hospital,” Fox said. “The auxiliary had expanded to 100 members when the hospital opened in 1970 and now have more than 300.”
The group was called the Pink Ladies when it started because it was all-female and its members wore pink uniforms. In 1972 the organization started accepting men as members and, as a result, changed its name to the Northside Hospital Auxiliary. Today about 20% of its members are men.
When asked what the auxiliary means to the hospital, Fox said the medical healthcare facility’s volunteers give “a human touch.”
“We are not the ones with the mask and needles, but we are there to hold someone’s hand and give them encouragement. Two of our most important duties (are) giving directions to hospital visitors and our community outreach program,” she said.
Northside President and CEO Bob Quattrocchi said the auxiliary’s work is essential for the hospital to provide the highest quality care for its patients and their families.
“There is no limit to the gratitude and appreciation we have for these volunteers and their dedication to the shared Northside vision,” he said. “We hope their contagious spirit continues to spread throughout the hospital.”
Northside also has auxiliaries for its Cherokee County and Forsyth hospitals and a separate teenager volunteer program for each of its three hospitals.
The auxiliary hosted a special May 1 luncheon to thank its supporters and will celebrate its 50th anniversary at a private brunch event May 18. But it’s also marking the occasion throughout the year by updating its Facebook page (www.facebook.com/northsideatlaux) with messages looking back at its first five decades.
A group of 30 volunteers are representing Northside at the 50th annual Peachtree Road Race July 4. Also, as part of its anniversary celebration, the auxiliary gave a gift of an additional $100,000 to their 2019 gift of $150,000 as part of their annual donation to departments across the hospital.
When asked how she feels about the auxiliary celebrating its half century of service, Fox said it reminds her of a child growing up.
“We started with 25 members and I remember us wearing those pink uniforms and it brings back many good memories,” she said. “Working as a member of the voluntary auxiliary is something I will always fondly remember.”
For more information, visit https://northsideatlaux.com.