FARMINGTON — Franklin Memorial Hospital’s Auxiliary sponsored the fourth annual community tea Wednesday in the Bass Room of the hospital.

Auxiliary members and community members gathered together for tea in China cups, petite sandwiches, a performance by Mt. Blue High School singing group, The Syncopations, and to celebrate the work performed by the Auxiliary.

It is an opportunity for people in the community to learn about what we do for the hospital, Betty Mitchell said. Everything the group does goes toward funding for items for the hospital, things that are not included in the hospital budget and scholarships, she said.

A few years ago, the group raised funds for the hospital’s helicopter pad. The Auxiliary has put $50,000 into the Healing Garden, Auxiliary President Shannon Smith said. The group provides six scholarships totaling $4,800 for students studying medicine and nursing and an annual nursing program award.

In other years, the Auxiliary has provided items like nursery bassinets and warming blankets among many other things. All funded from the work of the current 113 members, who regularly hold book fairs, craft and food sales, a bag sale and other events.

The membership tea open to community members was also meant to encourage membership.

After Jackie Ranco of Farmington provided piano music and those attending enjoyed tea and chocolate-covered strawberries, Pam Ernest, chief nursing officer at FMH, talked about the role of nurses in today’s hospital.

“Doctors diagnose and treat but nurses provide comfort and care,” she said as she described the multitask job that includes teaching patients and their families about their illness, promoting safety and watching patients for warning signs of disease.

“Healthcare will change but the essence of nursing will remain,” she said.

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