Joanne Armstrong appreciates the growth and progress made by Emerson Hospital in recent decades. The Lincoln resident, who served for many years on the Emerson Health Care Foundation’s Board of Directors, has a perspective on this subject. Mrs. Armstrong says she is struck by how Emerson continually strives to expand its clinical services and upgrade its facilities. “We’re so lucky to have Emerson,” she says. “Philanthropy is essential to the hospital’s progress.”
In addition to providing input at Foundation board meetings, she has been a consistent, generous supporter of the hospital, donating to annual appeals and special initiatives. Mrs. Armstrong and her late husband, John, also established a charitable remainder trust. Included among the important provisions of this trust was the assurance that Emerson Hospital will be the ultimate beneficiary.
Her high regard for Emerson began in the early 1960s when she volunteered in the coffee shop. “The hospital was very small, and you got to know the members of the staff,” she recalls. “Back then, the coffee shop had ‘town days,’ so I would be part of the Lincoln team and would be responsible for making sure that “Lincoln Day” was properly staffed by volunteers.
Mrs. Armstrong’s talent and good taste were soon applied to the hospital gift shop, which was first established by the Emerson Hospital Auxiliary, of which she is a lifetime member. “The gift shop was practically a closet at first,” she says, “but it was growing, and they needed people to help.”
She served as a buyer for the shop, which involved attending gift shows in Boston and meeting with representatives who presented their inventories. No stranger to retail, Mrs. Armstrong later established a small couture boutique in Lexington where she collaborated with a seamstress to offer special occasion clothing for cotillions, weddings and other events.
Over the years, she and her family have received care at Emerson and appreciated its quality. “We had many trips to the emergency room, of course,” she recalls. “In addition to having a son born at Emerson, I have had several successful orthopedic surgeries.
It is Emerson’s good fortune to know Mrs. Armstrong — as a patient, longtime volunteer and generous supporter.