The History of the Women’s Board

The Women’s Board Timeline

1919: The Ladies Auxiliary is formed with eight members to: organize volunteers; supervise hospital housekeeping and grounds; fold surgical dressings; provide and repair linens; and raise funds

1920: Dr. Jacob Wheeler Bird establishes Montgomery County General Hospital, today known as MedStar Montgomery Medical Center; the first Chicken Supper raises $1,000

1921: First Donation Party is held, later known as the Annual Donation Day  Tea, to collect home canned vegetables, fruits, jams, jellies, linens and money for the hospital

1926: The Ladies Auxiliary becomes the Women’s Board with 53 members

1935: The Women’s Board and Howard County Auxiliary prepare 50,955 surgical dressings

1937: Board of Directors and the Women’s Board sponsor a county-wide fund drive to build a nurse’s home on hospital property

1943 to 1944: “Phantom” Suppers are held during World War II to raise funds

1957: The Jean Bird Scholarship is created

1967: Women’s Board opens The Thrift Shop in Olney

1969: Scholarship Fund is established. Donation Day Tea is discontinued

1970: Gift Shop is opened in the old hospital

1971: New hospital opens and Thrift Shop moves to former Nurse’s Home

1973:Pledges $100,000 to complete the hospital’s 5th floor; Gift Shop is staffed entirely by volunteers from the Women’s Board and the community; the Memorial Gift Fund is established

1974: Women’s Board becomes part of the hospital organization and 10 scholarships are awarded

1976: Linens committee has 22 volunteers and works 815 hours to make 304 curtains and 862 stretcher covers

1980: 60th Annual Picnic & Bazaar raises more than $24,000

1981: Women’s Board underwrites the hospital’s chaplaincy program for one year; The Thrift Shop Fashion Show is held in the cafeteria for hospital employees; Emeritus status for long-time active members is adopted

1983: Women’s Board sponsors a luncheon for The Thrift Shop, Gift Shop, gift cart, and linen committee volunteers; 204 men and women attend

1985: First Gifts of Light is held

1990: 70th Anniversary Picnic & Bazaar raises $50,000; Women’s Board contributes $154,000 to hospital and makes $500,000 three-year pledge to the Capital Improvement Campaign

1991: 19 scholarships are awarded, many to hospital employees

1994: 55 scholarships are awarded: 29 new and 26 re-awards

1996: Pledges $500,000 toward the Samuel Riggs IV Critical Care Area; The Gift Shop is enlarged and refurbished; The Gifts of Light raises $5,000

1998: 59 scholarships are awarded; Women’s Board gives $100,000 one-time undesignated grant to hospital

1999:Purchases two bicycles for security patrol; Women’s Board and the philanthropy team partner to launch Annual Book Talk & Tea

2000: Hospital’s 80th Anniversary. The Thrift Shop, Gift Shop, and annual Picnic & Bazaar have record year--$475,000 given to the hospital and $200,000 raised for hospital-related scholarships.

2001: Makes three-year $800,000 pledge for pediatric emergency center within the Howard R. Gudelsky emergency department; Office created for Women’s Board within the philanthropy suite; and webpage is created on hospital’s website; the associate member category is instituted

2002: 84 scholarships are awarded

2004: Pediatric Emergency Center pledge of $800,000 is completed ahead of schedule; Pediatric Emergency Center opens

2005: Pledges $1 million for the Cardiovascular Program; Gift Shop is to be expanded; Membership is now 142

2007: Pledges $1 million for the Building Expansion Project

2010:Makes 10-year $1.75 million pledge towards the da Vinci Surgical System after Building Expansion Project is complete

2011: Awarded the “Hospital Award for Volunteer Excellence” (HAVE) given by the American Hospital Association

2013: The hospital lobby is named after the Women’s Board

2014: Pledges $1.5 million to renovate the hospital lobby and gift shop

2015: Completes $1.75 million pledge for the da Vinci Surgical System in five years

2017: The newly renovated Women’s Board hospital lobby and The Gift Shop dedicated

2019: Completes $1.5 million pledge for Hospital Lobby and Gift Shop renovations. Pledges $2 million for the Department of Medicine to support renovations to the 3rd floor of the hospital, enabling the expansion of the pulmonary program, and renovation of the 1st floor surgical waiting area. The pledge also provides for repairs and improvements to the Thrift Shop.

2020: Continues Anniversary celebration by recognizing years of membership and multi-generational members. During the COVID-19 pandemic, continues to find ways to contribute, including donating candy, snacks, and floral inventory from the Gift Shop to hospital employees, providing 65 meals to MedStar Montgomery staff, and donating $5,000 to the MedStar Montgomery COVID-19 Critical Needs Fund.

2021: The Women’s Board continues to step-up during the COVID-19 Pandemic by bringing the community together with the 100th Picnic and Bazaar.