Hospital auxiliary redoes space for new moms

Published 9:38 pm Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Vaughan Regional Medical Center Auxiliary volunteers pose for a photo in the New Mom’s Lounge on Wednesday.

Vaughan Regional Medical Center Auxiliary volunteers pose for a photo in the New Mom’s Lounge on Wednesday.

Donned in pink aprons and white outfits, Vaughan Regional Medical Center Auxiliary volunteers have worked all year to provide a space for hospital employees who are also new moms.

On Wednesday, volunteers were proud to show off the New Mom’s Lounge.

“This is our chance to serve the people that serve us when we’re sick. That’s why it’s important to us,” said Auxiliary member June Sullivan.

The lounge is a room for one, a place where new moms can pump breast milk in a comfortable and private environment. The walls are painted light blue and are embellished with art painted by a hospital employee. A leather chair sits in the middle of the room accompanied with a small table.

“There was a need for employees who are new moms to have a private and nice space when they need to pump,” said Kay Davidson, senior administration assistant and volunteer services director.

According to the 2010 Affordable Care Act, some employers are required to provide break time and a space, other than a bathroom, for a new mother to pump breast milk.

Because of this, Women’s and Children’s Services director and registered nurse Clara Moorer said having the space is critical and supplements a message the hospital stresses to its patients.

“It’s very rewarding for us because on our unit we like to stress the importance of breastfeeding, and if we can’t provide something for our own employees, it’s like we’re shooting ourselves in the foot,” Moorer said.

She said breastfeeding helps boost a baby’s immune system. Moorer said studies have shown breastfeeding is linked to children having higher IQ results later in life.

Each year the auxiliary works on a new project that helps improve the hospital. The lounge is the group’s 2015 project. For 2016, the auxiliary will improve and upgrade the hospital’s main lobby.

“All throughout the year we are trying to raise money,” Sullivan said.

She said money is raised through events like raffles and sales. A portion of gift shop revenue also goes toward the auxiliary’s project.

The auxiliary also awards scholarship to students studying in a healthcare relate field. This year nine scholarships will be awarded.

Volunteer Linda Hobson said scholarship award amounts vary. Students attending two-year colleges are awarded $1,200, and students pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree are awarded $2,000.

Moorer is thankful for the volunteers’ hard work and contribution to the hospital.

“It’s a wonderful thing that the auxiliary is providing this place for us,” she said. “It’s such a needed place.”