Section: News

Celebrating 10 Years and 15,000 Vials of Life


RMH volunteer, Gail Sisson, poses with Vial of Life partner Robert Green of Green’s Fortuna Pharmacy as they commemorate the program’s 10 year mark. The Redwood Memorial Hospital Auxiliary began the potentially lifesaving Vial of Life program in the Eel River Valley in Fall 2000. Originally focused on community seniors, the program has since been expanded to include all community members. And now, ten years later, nearly 15,000 vials have been distributed.

The medication vials contain a medical and emergency contact information sheet and are available free of charge in English and Spanish throughout Fortuna and surrounding communities.

Those who participate in the program are asked to complete the medical information, adhere the enclosed "Vial of Life" sticker to their refrigerator door, and place the vial in the left interior of their freezer so emergency personnel can readily access it. Baskets of vials are available at the following locations: Redwood Memorial Hospital’s front lobby; Green’s Fortuna Pharmacy; Fortuna Rite-Aid (at the Pharmacy waiting area); Royal Crest Mobile Estates (recreation center) ; Humboldt Senior Resource Center (Fortuna dining site); and Christ Lutheran Church. Additionally, each new mom who delivers at Redwood Memorial Hospital receives a vial when she is discharged from the hospital.

Redwood Memorial Hospital is grateful to have Green’s Fortuna Pharmacy and Rite-Aid, Fortuna Pharmacy as its partners in this valuable community service. Each of these pharmacies has donated a significant supply of vials to ensure availability for interested community members.

RMH Auxiliary member, and Vial of Life Chair, Gail Sisson got the idea for the "Vial of Life" campaign from an Area Council Meeting she attended in June 2000. At this meeting, auxiliary members from the Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits shared their successful experiences bringing the program to their community. RMH Auxiliary members met with emergency personnel including our local police, sheriff, fire and EMT departments to explain the program and incorporate their input before introducing it to the community. Auxiliary members also met with senior organizations, service organizations and churches throughout the community to explain the program and answer questions on how to complete the medical information sheet.

"Thank you to everyone who has been involved and has helped make this program an ongoing success," said Sisson when asked for comment. She concluded, "And, please, remember to pick up your vial at one of the participating sites. It could save your life."

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