The Auxiliary at SBH Health System is intimately involved in enhancing the quality of patient care, strengthening St. Barnabas Hospital’s role as a teaching hospital, and developing health programs in direct response to the changing needs of the community.
The Auxiliary of St. Barnabas Healthcare Facilities, formerly known as the Ladies Association, was founded in 1881. Its mission was, and continues to be, to advance the interests of the institution and to render all possible service and financial assistance to promote its welfare and those of its affiliates.
The 1881 annual report notes that ladies from the Ladies Association visited the Home for Incurables (as the hospital was then known) once a week and that they have been very faithful in attendance through the winter and summer, regularly, without regard to weather. During the first year of its existence, the Ladies Association kept the linen room supplied and provided many articles of clothing for the poorer residents of the hospital, which was then a chronic care institution, as well as books, fruit, pictures and other comforts.
During the course of its history as an important part of the hospital, the Auxiliary rose from a small beginning to a current membership of more than 200 dedicated people. Over the years, it has worked collaboratively with SBH’s External Affairs staff on developing and implementing new and innovative programs that identify and address the health status of the community and increase the accessibility to quality care for those who need it most—the sick poor. In addition, the Auxiliary provides financial support that enables health professionals to create mechanisms that successfully address the high-risk, difficult-to-reach populations SBH serves. This is critically important in an underserved community that suffers from insecurities in food, housing, education and employment, perennially finishes in 62nd and last place in New York State in terms of health outcomes, and has one of the highest incidents of chronic illness and substance abuse in the U.S.