It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of our beloved Millie Belobraydic. Millie passed away on Saturday morning. She will be greatly missed by so many. Arrangements are are under the direction of Barry Wilson Funeral Home in Maryville. Click here for more information.
Millie’s involvement with Anderson Hospital began in 1967, a decade before the hospital opened. She was part of the visionary group dedicated to building a hospital to serve Maryville, Troy, Edwardsville, Glen Carbon, Collinsville and surrounding communities. The group played an essential role in the establishment of Anderson Hospital. Millie was there when they broke ground in 1974 and was the Volunteer who wheeled in the very first patient on opening day, January 5, 1977. Since then, Millie has been a constant presence at Anderson Hospital, serving on the Board of Trustees and the Auxiliary in which she served as President for two terms.
In 2000, she was awarded the coveted Founders Award which recognized her as an instrumental figure in the development and ongoing success of Anderson Hospital. For years, she volunteered alongside the Materials Management staff and most recently volunteered at the Information Desks of the Hospital and Cancer Center.
She was honored in 2018 when the Administrative Board Room was named after her. The following is a story that accompanied the honor in the Troy Tribune which gives great insight into the wonderful woman that Millie was… to everyone.
Story by Charles Feldman/Troy Times-Tribune. Reprinted with permission.
Millie Belobraydic and Anderson Hospital go back a long way. She was one of the original founders of the hospital’s Auxiliary and has served on the Anderson Board for many years from the beginning. She was even at the 1974 groundbreaking.
And now a room has been dedicated in her honor. The Administrative Board Room was dedicated July 17.
“It was quite a surprise. I knew nothing about it,” said Belobraydic, 87, of Maryville. “I was very humbled by it, let me tell you.”
She served as Auxiliary president from 1982-84 and from 1992-94 and has served on its board of trustees for many years. She is one of the representatives from the village of Maryville for the Troy Maryville St. Jacob Marine Chamber of Commerce,
And she helped form the Auxiliary years before the hospital admitted its first patient. It all began when an East St. Louis hospital decided to open a satellite facility in the area during the mid-1960s.
“I started out as a gray lady at St. Mary’s Hospital and the sisters were going to build us a hospital where Collinsville High School is right now,” Belobraydic said.
“After about a year of working with the Auxiliary, the sisters backed out and decided they couldn’t afford to build a hospital. But we had already formed our Auxiliary and so for ten years before Anderson Hospital opened we were known as the Auxiliary without a hospital,” she said.
“We continued raising funds. We pledged $10,000 to be paid off in ten years,” she said. “We paid it off in eight years. We were pretty proud of ourselves for a little organization that just did petty fundraisers.”
Ground for Anderson Hospital was broken in 1974. “When the hospital opened on January 5, 1977 we opened the doors. I wheeled the first patient in on January 6.”
At the time, Belobraydic had been visiting different area hospitals to see how their Auxiliaries were run. After Anderson opened, the director of nursing worked with her to set up how the Auxiliary would take care of patient visits, work with the staff and do the things they do now.
Well, some of the things.
“You’ve got so much now with state rules so we have to be cautious with what we do,” she said. “We used to have volunteers that would help deliver meals and we don’t do that anymore. “
What the Auxiliary does these days is cover a lot of areas. They have volunteers in the emergency room changing sheets. Helming the admissions desk in the O.R. waiting room and the Wellness and Cancer Centers. Minding the gift shop, making things for babies, taking things to the lab, driving the shuttle bus and serving as runners for hospital personnel.
“You go where you’re needed,” Belobraydic said. “Over the years I don’t keep track of what I do. I just do it.”
They need volunteers, she said.
“Those interested can contact the hospital,” Belobraydic said. “There’s applications at the all the desks and they can go online. All they have to do is call the hospital and they’ll connect them with somebody. They’ll be happy to contact them.
“We need everybody,” she said. “We need shuttle drivers. We need somebody at the desk. We’re getting bigger and bigger, you know.
“This hospital has been the love of my life for a long time,” Belobraydic said. “It is just very hard for me not to be involved with it. The hospital is very, very special to me. It’s an excellent hospital.
“I will be as active as I can possibly be because I am not going to slow down,” she said. “If I do, I might stop.”