RMC Auxiliary Gives Generous Donation

Calm, soothing environments really do promote healing.

According to numerous medical studies,  patients who spend time in an environment that features natural light, views of the outside world and a reasonable noise level report higher levels of satisfaction, less stress – and shorter hospital stays – than patients who spend time in noisy, dark, closed-to-the-outside world settings.

So when Agnesian HealthCare and Ripon Medical Center personnel began planning the new Ripon Medical Center, they purposefully created a soothing environment to facilitate healing. And, the Ripon Medical Center (RMC) Auxiliary played a part in that, according to Jackie Halverson, RMC Auxiliary president.

“Several years ago, when the hospital first started talking about the need to build a replacement hospital, the Auxiliary began saving to make a significant contribution to something for the new hospital,” Halverson explains. “As it became a reality, the Auxiliary decided it wanted to contribute to something that would be part of the healing and meditative environment of the new hospital.”

As a result, a committee was formed to identify a specific item for the RMC Auxiliary to support. The committee was comprised of RMC Auxiliary members – Joann Strandell, Iona Altnau and Audrey Kelma – who worked hand-in-hand with hospital administration to identify an item.  

“Through this legwork, it was identified that a water wall in the Journeys Commons would help to support the hospital’s desire to feature healing spaces for its patients, visitors and associates,” Halverson explains. “Funds that were raised from Lights of Love campaigns in 2013 and 2014 were added to other funds set aside for this $22,000 contribution.”

The water wall, now in place, complements other healing space features, such as walls of windows, subdued lighting, a color palette inspired by nature (think soft tans and sage greens), meditation room and space for a healing garden.

“We truly appreciate all that the RMC Auxiliary does on an ongoing basis for the hospital,” says Katherine Vergos, RMC chief operating officer. “Their generosity has brought a welcome addition to patients and visitors when they first enter our new facility. It is a pleasure to work in conjunction with Auxiliary members who are so supportive of our mission.” 

Other healing spaces include a fireplace in the atrium, as well as a multi-purpose meditation room, located adjacent to the emergency and surgery departments. A healing garden is coming – thanks to contributions to The Foundation for Ripon Medical Center Foundation – just beyond the walls of the meditation room.

For more than 72 years, the Ripon Medical Center (RMC) Auxiliary has been a steadfast partner with the hospital helping to support programs and services through various fund-raisers.

“RMC Auxiliary members play an integral role in the overall success of Ripon Medical Center,” according to Halverson. “They help to sponsor fund-raising events that benefit patient programs, as well as scholarships to area students pursuing a career in healthcare. They are also members of Partners of the WHA (Wisconsin Hospital Association), and support advocacy efforts to communicate specific needs of patients and families with legislators.”

Members also support the Ripon Medical Center’s gift shop, off the new hospital’s atrium. The new gift shop is conveniently located near the hospital’s main entrance and is adding display areas to effectively showcase its merchandise for sale.


Photo caption: Ripon Medical Center Auxiliary members donate $22,000 to Ripon Medical Center for the purchase of a new water wall in the Journeys Commons. Katherine Vergos, chief operating officer (far left), accepts the donation from (left to right) Jackie Halverson,Joann Strandell, Audrey Kelma and Iona Altnau.