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By GWEN SISSON
Sometimes, a hospital patient needs a happy face to stop by and say hello.
That is how Jeannie Godbold of the OCH Regional Medical Centerâs Auxiliary program describes what members do every day.
âWe are also a patient representative,â Godbold said. âWhen we stop by, if there is a problem, we serve as a go-between to help make them more comfortable.â
While most visitors will see auxiliary members at the help desk or in the gift shop, but auxiliary members also bring magazines, water and juice to patients, and packets for new moms. They conduct survey-type information to help the hospital improve âcustomer service.â Auxiliary members also raise money to give nursing scholarships.
âWe arenât âmedical peopleâ and that difference makes a difference,â Godbold said. âPatients are a lot more relaxed around auxiliary members.â
Godbold said visiting patients can be rewarding.
âPeople have been very nice and patients really, really appreciate the attention,â Godbold said. âIt makes my day.â
âThe hospital auxiliary is vital for the hospitalâs contact with the community,â said Arthur âSonnyâ Kelly, OCH Regional Medical Center Administrator. âMade up of volunteers who unselfishly give of their time to serve the needs of patients and their families, the auxiliary provides many extra touch services that make people feel welcome when they use the hospitalâs services. Â A hospital without an auxiliary is like Christmas without Santa.â
Darlene Comish, auxiliary coordinator for OCH Regional Medical Center, said there are currently 65-70 active auxiliary members who work hard to create a pleasant environment for patients and visitors.
âThe volunteers are a vital part of the hospital,â Comish said. âWe rely on them to greet our guests, help them find their way around the hospital and check to make sure their stay is satisfactory. They also help the nursing staff with delivery of juice and water and delivery of magazines.Â As their leader the past two years, Jeanne Godbold has done a tremendous job.â
Godbold said her involvement with the Auxiliary program stems from the wonderful people involved.
âFran Herring, Helen Thomas, Maurine Langley â they are wonderful women who have made this program great,â Godbold said. âI volunteer with this organization because of the wonderful people.â
Godbold joined the Auxiliary five years ago, when she and her husband, Stanly Godbold, returned to Starkville, after living in South Carolina and Texas. She and Stanly returned to Starkville, where he works as a history professor at Mississippi State University, and has completed his book about Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter. He is currently working on the second in the Carter series.
Young adults throughout the community will remember Godbold as their teacher at the Day School at First United Methodist Church for about 21 years.
Godbold also serves on the board of directors for the Starkville-Mississippi State University Symphony Association. She rejoined her gourmet group and is a member of the SDN Book Club.