“Pink Lady” Linda Stone proudly shows off her sewing station and various hand-sewn gifts she made to sell at the gift shop at McGeHee Hospital. Mrs. Stone was the former President of the McGeHee Hospital branch of the Hospital Auxiliary “Pink Ladies” from 2003 - 2005 & 2016 - 2017 and still volunteers her time on the sewing machine, helps organize blood drives with the American Red Cross, serves meals to patients and healthcare providers, and works at the gift shop at the hospital. Volunteers like Mrs. Stone have been an integral part of the McGeHee healthcare community since 1967. | Photo Credit: Bradley Lail
If you visit one of the many rural hospitals throughout south Arkansas, you will likely be either welcomed to the hospital, or helped in some way by a lady (or ladies) wearing a pink lab coat. Their kind hearts and calming voices are seemingly always there when you need them and have been around for nearly 60 years. But who are they?
Arkansas Hospital Auxiliary Association's “Pink Ladies” are a group of volunteers of mostly senior citizens who dedicate their time and talents to supporting the communities in which they live.
In many hospitals throughout rural Arkansas, the Pink Ladies provide important services for hospital staff such as helping transfer patients between departments. They also work at the information desk and provide information to visitors; a service that helps staff focus on providing quality healthcare.
You can often find these ladies assisting hospital visitors at the gift shop. Many of the volunteers sell homemade items in the very gift shops in which they work. Much of the money they make from the sale of these items are donated back to the hospital in some way. At some hospitals, money they raise goes toward items like new lunch trays and dinnerware. At others, money raised goes towards important hospital equipment. Other branches have even given the proceeds to help aspiring nurses go to nursing school.
In many ways, this group of volunteers are the heart of every hospital and community they serve. They volunteer their time and talents to help keep rural hospitals going.