A grassroots campaign that was originally organized to raise funds to purchase
medical equipment for a proposed new community hospital has grown over
the past 60 years into an efficient and effective community organization
called the Washington Hospital Service League.
In 1958, the growing Washington Hospital Service League presented Washington
Hospital trustees with $15,000 they had raised by running the Cheery Budget
Shop, a rummage store filled with used household and clothing items.
In February 2015, the Service League reported that over the past 60 years,
the organization had donated a total of $2,429,407.68 to the health care
system for a wide variety of important projects and programs. Additionally,
Service League volunteers have contributed almost 2 million volunteer
hours to the Hospital.
The Washington Hospital Service League is also always first to the table
with contributions, says Angus Cochran, executive director of the Washington
Hospital Foundation. “They were first in 1958 to help the Hospital
and again in 2006 with a $300,000 gift to the Critical Care Campaign,
which raised funds to equip the Morris Hyman Critical Care Pavilion, currently
To celebrate the Washington Hospital Service League’s long history
and invaluable contributions to the Hospital and the community, a special
60th Anniversary luncheon will be held 12 noon – 2 p.m. (11 a.m.
reception) on Tuesday, October 13, in the Tent at Washington West, 2500
Mowry Avenue, Fremont. All past and current Service League volunteers
are encouraged to attend to celebrate the impressive accomplishments of
these past 60 years. Special guests will include former Service League
Through the years, Service League volunteers have raised funds through
a wide variety of initiatives including the following:
- Hospital’s gift shop
- a coffee shop in the early years
- fashion shows and dinner dances
sales from the canteen vending machine
memorials and donations to the scholarship fund
commissions from newborn baby photos
$5 Masquerade jewelry sales
Over the years, the Service League’s donations have funded more than
130 different medical and educational needs of the Hospital. The largest
donation has been $300,000 for the Critical Care Campaign, which was paid
in installments between 2006 and 2010.
Other important contributions by the Service League include:
1963 — the volunteers presented a $10,000 check to the Washington
Township Health Care District Board of Directors to help open an intensive
care unit at Washington Hospital. This was the first intensive care unit
established west of the Mississippi River in a non-teaching hospital.
1973 — a $35,000 donation contributed greatly to the establishment
of a Renal Dialysis Center at Washington Hospital. The establishment of
this unit eased the burden on local hemodialysis patients who previously
had to drive as far as Oakland, San Francisco or Palo Alto for treatment.
1984 — the Service League donated $15,000 to the new Washington Radiation
Oncology Center and an additional $30,000 in matching funds for a new
patient treatment-planning computer for the Center. The Center was established
to provide cancer patients in need of radiation treatment with convenient
local care and the same technology available at Stanford University, all
available at Washington Hospital.
1985 — $43,070 for labor and delivery beds and four telemetry monitors
1989 — $25,000 for fetal heart monitors, $8,000 for emergency room equipment
1992 — $13,150 for a full-body hydrotherapy and burn tank for Occupational Therapy
1995 — $40,100 for the Health Resource Library, which provides health
information to community members
1998 — $43,000 to purchase a disaster tent and all the necessary
supplies to provide medical care after a major disaster
2010 — $70,000 for a stress fracture table for one of the operating rooms
2013 — $55,000 to purchase nine beds for the Special Care Nursery
This past year, the Service League donated $60,000 toward the purchase
of an Artic Sun Temperature Management System and the partial purchase
of intra-aortic balloon pumps. The Artic Temperature Management System
precisely manages and controls patient temperature to promote healing.
Intra-aortic balloon pumps are a mechanical device that helps the heart
Additionally, the Service League has distributed more than $300,000 in
scholarships for students in the Washington Township Health Care District
who are pursuing studies in a health-related field.
Reservations for the 60th Anniversary Luncheon may be obtained by contacting
Washington Hospital Volunteer Services at (510) 791-3465. Past presidents
and current adult volunteers are invited to the 60th Anniversary Luncheon
as guests of Washington Hospital. Past volunteers are invited to attend
the luncheon for $10.