The Auxiliary of Good Samaritan Hospital was founded in 1962 to provide voluntary service to the patients, family members, visitors and staff of Good Samaritan and Mission Oaks Hospitals in a spirit of dedication, friendliness and professionalism and to support community health needs through gift shop proceeds. The Auxiliary is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization. In 1998, The Auxiliary began training Cuddlers, who hold babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), helping to fill the gap between parental visits and providing around the clock comfort to these tiny miracles.
In 2003, Sue Shoff, one of Good Samaritan’s Cuddlers, began exploring ways of increasing support to NICU families, who often experience great emotional and financial stress during their babies’ hospitalization. NICU babies are hospitalized between 1 day and 7 months, with an average NICU hospitalization of 19 days. For the more than 100 families a year who travel 60-250 miles round trip each time they visit their babies, it was nearly impossible for parents to spend as much time as they would like with their critically ill infants. Sue began talking with doctors, nurses, social workers and NICU families to see what she could do to help. In 2007, after many hours of research and a lot of preparation, ACCESS was born - Sue's dream of helping NICU families had come to fruition.
As soon as ACCESS had the financial and volunteer capacity to expand, it did! In 2012 ACCESS reached out beyond families of babies and children to include families of hospitalized adults as well as outpatient cancer survivors. By providing free services including an on-campus RV and host home overnights, families living far away from the hospital have supportive places to stay so they can focus on their loved ones during hospitalization and Oncology outpatients can stay close to the hospital during radiation and chemotherapy treatments. Transportation, food in the NICU and Oncology Units, multilingual educational resources in the NICU and childcare are also provided without charge through the ACCESS program. Families struggling to meet the additional financial burdens of hospitalization can also receive vouchers for gas, meals and emergency hotel overnights. ACCESS’s bi-weekly car seat fitting station helps keep babies and children in our community safer. Staffed by dedicated volunteers and with donations from generous community members the ACCESS program is thriving.
ACCESS volunteers drove 4,954 miles bringing families to the hospital
To learn more about ACCESS and how you can be involved, please browse through these pages. They will help you decide if you want to use our services as a guest, refer a family to ACCESS, become an ACCESS volunteer, donate financially, or support ACCESS in other ways.