$3 million pledged to AAMC project

July 31, 2008|By Jasmine Jernberg | Jasmine Jernberg,Sun reporter

The Anne Arundel Medical Center Auxiliary has pledged $3 million to support the expansion of the Annapolis hospital campus, officials announced this week.

The pledge, the largest in the volunteer group's 64-year history, will help fund the $400 million "Vision 2010" project at AAMC, which includes two new buildings, four parking facilities and two bridges.

"The Vision 2010 Auxiliary Pledge is a big source of pride for us," said Ann Kier, president of the auxiliary. "Every volunteer wants to contribute, leaving our mark on the hospital we believe in."

The pledge process began in the fall of 2006, when after meeting with the auxiliary's board and treasurer and hospital representatives, Kier made a promise of $3 million, to be paid in $600,000 installments over five years. The first payment was made in December.

The announcement was delayed until Monday to ensure the auxiliary's goal would be attainable and all the details were ironed out, hospital spokesman Justin Paquette said.

The money for the pledge will come from proceeds at the AAMC gift shop; AAMC's consignment shop in the Sajak Pavilion, the Clothes Box; and hospital vendors, all run by the auxiliary. The group also plans other fundraising projects, like last fall's fashion show and luncheon at the Chartwell Golf and Country Club in Severna Park. The auxiliary also will release a 1,000-recipe cookbook in December.

In addition to raising money, auxiliary volunteers donning blue jackets provide customer service and visitor and patient information, help hospital staff, and even knit baby caps, make stuffed bears and deliver flowers to patients.

"This pledge truly demonstrates how dedicated our volunteers are to AAMC," said Martin L. Doordan, the center's president and chief executive officer. "Not only through their fundraising, but also through the time and energy our volunteers share to help ensure an exceptional experience for our patients."

The monetary assistance from the auxiliary will help fund the medical campus expansion, including aspects of particular importance to AAMC staff and patients.

The new ambulatory services pavilion will house a Health Sciences Institute on the top floor, which will provide space for physician and staff education, a top priority at AAMC. This building is slated to open at this time next year.

There also will be a new eight-story tower with 50 private rooms and eight operating rooms. This new facility will expand the emergency room by 40 percent and provide a much-needed pediatric care unit. About 125,000 children are treated at the hospital each year, said Lisa Hillman, AAMC senior vice president and chief development officer. This new facility is planned to be finished by early 2011.

AAMC staffers are grateful for the auxiliary's assistance and recognize the expansion will require more of its help.

"We are excited about their giving this money, but with the expansion we have told them we will need more of them," Hillman said. "We love the volunteer help."

Since its inception in 1944, the AAMC Auxiliary has pledged more than $13 million to AAMC. Today the group boasts over 950 volunteers; last year they gave 130,000 hours to the medical center.

"We have a lot of people that donate a lot of time and commitment to this hospital," Kier said. "The money is one side, but the other side is the hard work people put in here."

jasmine.jernberg@baltsun.com

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