TMH Auxiliary Volunteers president dedicated to making organization ‘shine’

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Anna Rippy, The Memorial Hospital Auxiliary Volunteers president, ensures that auxiliary volunteers, also known as “Pink Ladies,” are on hand to man the hospital’s gift shop and offer help at the concierge’s desk. Her volunteer work at the hospital, which stretches back about 10 years, is “quite fulfilling,” she said.

At a glance ...

Name: Anna Rippy

Age: 76 Residence: Craig Occupation: Retired office manager for Grand Junction insurance agency; bookkeeper for Rippy Sales and Service — Volunteer activities: The Memorial Hospital Auxiliary Volunteers president; Better Community Club member; member of Rebekah’s Lodge No. 138 in Craig

Quotable

“I think she’s really a great organizer, and she is committed to having that group shine.”

— Jade Wilhite, The Memorial Hospital human resources manager and volunteer services director, about Anna Rippy, TMH Auxiliary Volunteers president

Although patients at The Memorial Hospital in Craig may not know Anna Rippy personally, they’re likely to recognize the organization she’s volunteered with for about a decade.

Members of The Memorial Hospital Auxiliary Volunteers, informally known as “Pink Ladies,” are familiar faces at the hospital. They greet patients and their families at the concierge desk, staff the gift shop and offer refreshments from a traveling cart that makes rounds twice a day at the hospital.

Behind it all stands Rippy, a Craig native and Auxiliary Volunteers president.

Rippy, who is a retired office manager for a Grand Junction insurance agency, has offered her time at the hospital for about 10 years, and she’s served as the group’s president for nearly six of them, she said.

The 76-year-old splits her time between volunteering at the hospital and keeping the books for Rippy Sales and Service, a Craig company she runs with Bill, her husband of nearly 45 years.

The services offered by the Auxiliary Volunteers may seem small in comparison to the larger operations at work at TMH.

But, in her eyes, every effort to make patients feel comfortable and cared for counts.

The benefit of volunteering at the hospital “is the satisfaction of being able to do something that might make somebody feel better,” she said.

In addition to working one shift a week at the concierge desk, Rippy is tasked with ensuring volunteers are on hand to staff her station and the hospital’s gift shop. The latter gives back to the hospital in a big way, “because everything we make we turn back into the hospital in the form of some kind of equipment,” she said. In the past, those funds have purchased neonatal monitors, which allow physicians to keep an eye on women in labor from any computer, she said.

The Auxiliary Volunteers purchase and decorate Christmas trees for TMH and The Memorial Hospital Medical Clinic. They’re also on hand to help nurses and staff in a variety of ways, whether it’s keeping the coffee pot running at the emergency room’s front desk or offering wheelchairs for arriving patients who need them.

Services the Auxiliary Volunteers offer plays a pivotal role at TMH, said Jade Wilhite, the hospital’s human resources manager and volunteer services director.

“They are the face of the hospital,” she said. “They’re the goodwill ambassadors. They’re those helping hands.”

In her eyes, Rippy exemplifies the group’s mission and purpose.

“All of our volunteers have a service mentality, and Anna is no exception there,” Wilhite said.

Although it’s difficult to single out one volunteer, Rippy has made a noticeable impression at the hospital, the volunteer services director said.

“I think she’s really a great organizer, and she is committed to having that group shine,” she said. “So if she weren’t here, I don’t know if we’d have that, really.

“I feel like there would be a void.”

Rippy doesn’t speak much to her own contributions to the hospital, preferring instead to spotlight the group’s efforts as a whole.

Yet she cannot deny the satisfaction she receives from giving her time, attention and care to patients and staff who need her.

“It’s quite fulfilling,” she said.

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