Medical Guild stops at nothing to serve UF

Kathryn Seagle is immediate past president of the University of Florida Medical Guild, Inc. and the current president of the Gift Stop board.

As the University of Florida Medical Guild celebrates its 50th anniversary, its foundation strengthens for the next 50 years of friendship and service. We serve by awarding scholarships, grants and special project funding to health-related projects. To help support these projects, the guild now partners with The Gift Stop, including the new shop in the Shands Cancer Hospital at the University of Florida scheduled to open Nov. 1.

The 2008 Medical Guild board officers (from left) Keri Steele, Nicole Scagnelli, Jennifer Postoak, Janice Nelson and Kathryn Seagle

From left, the 2008 Medical Guild board officers: Keri Steele, Nicole Scagnelli, Jennifer Postoak, Janice Nelson and Kathryn Seagle

How does The Gift Stop support the guild’s donations? When guild members or friends volunteer their time working in The Gift Stop, Shands Volunteer Services tracks those hours. At the end of the year we divide the profits from the shop among the co-owners (Medical Guild and Shands Auxiliary). Each organization receives a share based on its volunteer hours. The money is used to benefit the UF Health Science Center and Shands at UF. A few guild members volunteer more than 700 hours a year, which this past year translated to more than $4,500 as their personal contribution toward the profit check returned to the guild. Some members only work a special sale, but even those 10 hours add up to more than $60 in profit.

Where does the money go? Last year the funds the guild received from The Gift Stop were donated to special projects. Each year, the guild requests proposals for funding. A guild committee thoughtfully reviews the proposals and recommends funding projects. Some recently funded projects include: Condition H Display Holders for each room at Shands at UF that identify early warning signs of a serious problem and provide directions for calling the Rapid Response Team ($3,440); supplies to decorate six rooms and help with psychosocial needs for chronically or critically ill adolescents in the Teen Zone Project ($5,500); replacement communication boards for patient rooms so family and patients can easily view nurses’ names and plans for the day ($2,500); transplant discharge kits for pediatric organ transplant patients containing supplied for use when they return home ($1,507). To have your project considered for funding, send your contact information to the address at the end of this article.

How do you help? Every time you purchase a snack or thank-you bouquet or Gator shirt from The Gift Stop, you are a part of this circle of giving. Every time your student earns a guild-sponsored award, you are a part of the action. When you identify a worthy project for guild support, your action aids the process. And when you refer a new HSC faculty member or spouse to the guild, we supply an immeasurable portion of friendship that welcomes them to our community.

During the past 50 years, the guild has donated more than $1 million to health-related projects. On our golden anniversary, wish us continued financial health and renewable volunteer energy. To contact us, write to the UF Medical Guild Inc., P.O. Box 100215, Gainesville, FL 32610-0215 or e-mail me for a personal response at