How it all began
While attending a women’s health workshop that included a tour of the former City of Memphis/John Gaston Memorial Hospital, the lives of 11 women were forever changed.
During the hospital tour, these women could see the great need to get involved. Driven by sheer conviction that they could make a difference, they met in homes and elected officers.
Funding for the project came from memorials donated to Idlewild Presbyterian Church on behalf of Dr. John K. Johnson and his wife Katherine. Dr. Johnson served as the Presbyterian chaplain for the UT Medical Units that included the City of Memphis Hospital complex and was an Associate Pastor at Idlewild Presbyterian Church. The auxiliary was named in memory of him and his wife, and was chartered on April 9, 1973.
How the Johnson Auxiliary impacts our community
Johnson Auxiliary volunteers minister to the needs of patients and their families. They also assist hospital staff and promote the health and welfare of everyone in our community.
In 1981, the auxiliary helped establish the first Prayer Room/Chapel at Regional One Health. Now patients and their families have a place to go for prayer or meditation during their times of need. The Prayer Room/Chapel was named for Alice Davies, one of the Johnson Auxiliary’s Founders and its first President.
At the request of the hospital’s administration, the auxiliary opened and began managing a Gift Shop in 1983 as another service for patients and the hospital. To date, grants totaling almost $500,000 have been made to Regional One Health Foundation from Gift Shop profits.
Some of the improvements funded by the Johnson Auxiliary include the purchase of six hospital beds for the burn rehabilitation unit; equipment, educational and social service needs for the patients of the Adult Special Care Center; a meditation room within the critical care waiting room; and renovation of the rehabilitation hospital’s waiting room. Each year, the auxiliary also funds four dependent scholarships through the Jency Mitchell Scholarship Fund.
A Clothes Closet, named after former member Mary Love, provides clothing and hygiene items on an emergency basis for patients or their family members who are in need of these items during their stay at the hospital or to wear home.
A Last Resort Fund assists patients who need financial help when they are discharged, if assistance cannot be obtained elsewhere. Assistance includes help with utilities, transportation, rent, co-payments for prescriptions or other vital needs.
Volunteers distribute magazines and books to hospital waiting rooms and patients, handle blood pressure screenings for hospital employees and visitors, as well as provide opportunities for those interested in volunteering at Regional One Health.
Contact the Johnson Auxiliary at 901.545.7244 or visit the “Ways to Give” page at regionalonehealth.org to see how you can get involved.