On July 5, 1965, Nashville Memorial Hospital opened its doors to the community. The Women's Auxiliary had already been functional for over three years and volunteers had been instrumental in fundraising for the future facility. Jo Sanders had been actively involved this fund raising for the new hospital, though not officially a member of the Auxiliary until October 10, 1965. She remains an active volunteer of what is now Skyline Medical Center after forty-two years. During those years she has contributed over 15,000 hours of service while serving as a loyal supporter of the hospital, the auxiliary, and the patients. Her contributions to the hospital are unparalleled and the value of her time, efforts and positive influence in the community on behalf of both Memorial and Skyline Medical Center cannot be calculated.
Job assignments as a hospital volunteer have ranged from taking the gift cart to patient rooms, to serving as a lab runner, a clerk in the auxiliary run Gift Shop/Snack Bar, an assistant in the business office, and in the admitting office. She was the visual merchandiser for the Gift Shop for many years and has supervised the committee that decorates the hospital at Christmas for more than fifteen years. For the past twenty-eight years she has worked in the main lobby providing patient information to visitors and families. Whatever role she assumes, Jo does so with a smile and sympathetic ear and with the intent on providing superior customer service for the patients and their families.
Jo accepted her first leadership role only months after joining the auxiliary. She agreed to accept a position on the committee for the Spring Benefit in March of 1966 as the Chair for Decorations and Menus. She has chaired or served on many other committees, most recently chairing the Dinner for Scholarships Gala in September 2005. With each role her energy and enthusiasm have never wavered.
Jo also served on, chaired and co-chaired two of the largest and most successful fundraising benefits in the history of the hospital, "Cain-Sloan Day" and the "Harvest Ball." Monies raised from these endeavors allowed the auxiliary to contribute hundreds of thousands of dollars toward the retirement of the hospital debt. With the debt retired, Jo and other members of the Auxiliary continued to raise funds for hospital expansions and improvements, equipment, decorations, etc. until HCA purchased the hospital in 1994. As the Auxiliary became a 501c-3, not-for-profit organization, funds have since been directed toward patient, family and community projects. The latest of the projects, the establishment of scholarships for graduating high school seniors who wish to pursue further studies of a medical nature, is one Jo most vigorously endeavors.
With the exception of one term Jo has continuously served on the Executive Board of the Auxiliary since 1968. She has held positions from member-at-large to president. She has been the parliamentarian, the corresponding secretary, the secretary for six, two-year terms, 1st vice president and was elected president in 1982-84. During the following two years she remained on the board in an advisory capacity as immediate past-president.
Her peers hold Jo in the highest esteem. Her total involvement, dedication and commitment, her loyalty, courtesy and compassion to patients, families, employees and fellow volunteers earned her the coveted "Volunteer of the Year" award in 1988. On November 15, 1995, she was recognized once again by her peers with a nomination for a special award by the Nashville Chapter of the National Society of Fund Raising Executives. She was honored at their "Spirit of Giving Luncheon," The NSFRE chapter annually uses this venue to honor those who give and the volunteers whose extraordinary contributions of time and resources to the community exemplify the true meaning of philanthropy. In 2005 she was recognized at the Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony of the Skyline Auxiliary for forty years of continuous service.
Jo always represents Skyline Medical Center in the most positive manner throughout the community, whether attending Legislation Day, Council of Volunteers' Regional Meetings, Leadership Meetings, THA State Conferences and AHA National Conferences. Her active works at the local, regional, state and national levels of hospital support organizations have earned her the respect of members from other hospitals and organizations. This respect is clearly evidenced in the warm reception she receives when attending these functions and their encouragement to further assume leadership roles.
Jo Sanders' community commitment is not limited to hospital volunteer work. She is a Trustee of Goodlettsville Connell Methodist Church where she and her family have been active members since 1965. In 1996 the Goodlettsville Chamber of Commerce recognized her with an Award of Merit. Also, since its establishment in May of 1994, Ms. Sanders has been a member of the Memorial Foundation Board of Directors. The Foundation was established from the earnings of the sale of Nashville Memorial Hospital to HCA to support the community and area charities. Its board is comprised of members representing a cross section of community interests from different geographic areas of middle Tennessee. As an active and long-time member of the Auxiliary and former President, Jo continues to represent the volunteer interests.
Jo is a loving wife, mother, grandmother, a devoted church member, hospital and community volunteer. The length of service to both Nashville Memorial Hospital and now Skyline Medical Center and the Auxiliary evidences her commitment to volunteerism. She truly is representative of the values of the consummate volunteer.