The Methodist Medical Center Foundation and the Hospitality Houses are adding a third Hospitality House near Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge.
The Hospitality Houses are located just minutes from MMC, and they primarily serve patients and families visiting for cancer care, wound care, intensive care, cardiac critical care, or certain short stays related to specific tests and procedures. There are no charges for guests staying at the Hospitality Houses. All costs are covered by charitable contributions raised through annual fundraising events and by food and related necessities donated by caring individuals, area churches, civic clubs, and businesses, a press release said.
Last year, 211 guests spent 1,787 nights in Methodist’s two existing Hospitality Houses. They came from 18 Tennessee counties and 14 different states. One guest with a family member in Intensive Care Unit came all the way from France, the press release said.
Increasingly, the two existing Hospitality Houses are at 100 percent occupancy, resulting in patients and family members being unable to benefit from their services. In many circumstances, the full occupancy means that patient care procedures get delayed or sometimes don’t occur at all because the patient and their family has no place to stay and simply can’t afford hotel room rates for an extended period of time, the release said.
The addition of the third Hospitality House will provide a much-needed expansion of this unique service, the press release said. Like the two existing Hospitality Houses, the third house is an original Oak Ridge “E” house, which is undergoing extensive renovation to accommodate multiple guest suites.
The first renovated house opened in 1997 and was named the “Manly House” in honor of longtime community leaders Bill and Jane Manly. In 2006, a second “E” house was renovated and named the “CALM House” in honor of the significant renovation work and materials provided by members of the Cooperative Agreement of Labor and Management. Together, these two houses provide eight guest suites (two of which are handicap accessible), each with a private living room, bedroom, and bathroom. Both houses also have a shared kitchen, dining room, and an extra living room for visiting with friends and relatives. The kitchens are fully furnished and offer stocked pantries for guests.
The third “E” house has been owned by Methodist for many years but was used primarily for storage due to its poor condition. It is located very close to the two existing Hospitality Houses. After careful evaluation, it was decided that the core structure was in decent condition, but the house would need to be completely gutted and renovated to bring it up to standards for becoming the third Hospitality House. The cost for these renovations is estimated to be $400,000.
Earlier this year, a fundraising campaign began under the leadership of Methodist Medical Center Foundation Board Member Steve Whitson to raise both monetary contributions and in-kind gifts of materials and labor to turn this dilapidated house into a fully functioning third Hospitality House with a layout similar to the other two houses. Community volunteer leaders Homer Fisher and Ken Rueter assisted Whitson in getting the project rolling, with support from former Methodist president and chief administrative officer, now Covenant Health Executive Vice President Mike Belbeck.
UT-Battelle and Pro2Serve have committed the lead charitable gifts to kick-off the fundraising campaign, the press release said.
“As a result of their generosity, the third house will be named the UT-Battelle/Pro2Serve House!” the release said.
There are many other naming opportunities available in the new third Hospitality House along with needs for in-kind gifts of materials (everything from furniture, appliances, sheet rock, and paint to plumbing fixtures and ceiling fans). Contributions can be pledged over three years and can be a combination of cash and in-kind donations, or even stock or real estate. Those aged 75 or older can use a planned gift via a bequest, gift annuity, or remainder interest designation from life insurance or a retirement plan as ways to be credited with a gift now even though the actual gift won’t be received until later. For more information on how you can help, please contact Jeff Elliott, campaign coordinator, at (865) 531-5197 or [email protected].