Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Far from Home: Tulsa Hospitality House to Offer Lodging for Families

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Far from Home: Tulsa Hospitality House to Offer Lodging for Families

Article excerpt

The Hospitality House of Tulsa will hold a block party and open house tonight to celebrate its grand opening.

The Hospitality House will provide lodging and support services to out-of-town families of patients at Tulsa hospitals. The facility, a seven-unit apartment complex near the campus of Hillcrest Medical Center, will be ready to serve visitors beginning Aug. 21.

We understand that having a family member hospitalized is a stressful and emotional time for the other family members, said Steve Dobbs, CEO of Hillcrest Medical Center. Hillcrest is proud to partner with the Hospitality House of Tulsa to offer comfortable and convenient housing to family members who travel long distances to be with loved ones.

Toni Moore, president of the Tulsa Hospitality House, said more than 25,000 patients travel to Tulsa each year for inpatient care, according to a feasibility study she commissioned in the project's opening stages.

The majority of these patients are accompanied by a family member or caregiver, she said. These families are traveling 50 miles or more to Tulsa. Nearly half the families we help are on limited income and are not able to afford hotel and dining-out costs associated with a lengthy medical stay.

She said the new facility will be able to house about 150 families per year.

I know that's just a drop in the bucket compared to how many families need this kind of help, but it's a start, she said.

She said Hospitality House of Tulsa hopes to build a new 24-room facility after operations at the current facility get off the ground.

Moore began the process of opening a hospitality house in Tulsa about three years ago. She attended a conference of the National Association of Hospital Hospitality Houses with her friend Brooke Gage, now the secretary and treasurer of Hospitality House of Tulsa.

The two attended several workshops and seminars, and they also met Dick Rathgaber of Austin, Texas, who has helped finance hospitality facilities across the Southwest. …

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