Coming soon! Fundraising for this project is underway.
The hospitality center at Kootenai Health is the result of collaboration between Kootenai Health, Community Cancer Fund (CCF), and Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Inland Northwest (RMHC). It will provide overnight accommodations that are low cost for adults and free for pediatric patients and families accessing services at Kootenai.
The hospitality center will include 14 adult rooms and 6 Ronald McDonald House rooms for pediatric patient families. The hospitality center will provide a home-like setting with kitchen and laundry facilities and recreational spaces, in addition to overnight lodging. Ronald McDonald House guests will also enjoy services such as a meal and pet therapy programs.
The hospitality center will be built on a currently empty lot on the northwest corner of the Kootenai Health campus. It will have easy access to walking trails and a shuttle service to take guest to various campus locations. Guests will stay at the hospitality center free of charge or at a greatly reduced rate.
What inspired this project?
This project was inspired by a shared desire between Kootenai Health, CCF and RMHC to ensure access to care and provide outstanding support services for patients and families from around the Inland Northwest.
Kootenai Health has experienced significant overall growth in the last five years. That has included a new Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, an expanded Family Birth Center, and enhanced services for pediatric, cancer, cardiovascular, orthopedic and neurosurgery patients. As Kootenai Health has expanded services, the hospital has seen a dramatic increase in patients seeking treatment from outside Kootenai County. This has caused the hospital to consider how to address the complex needs of out-of-town patients.
For many years patients and their families have had access to lodging at the Walden House, an eight-bedroom home located on Kootenai’s campus. The need for overnight lodging continues to grow and the Walden House has limited capacity and accessibility. When Kootenai began exploring additional lodging options, they connected with the CCF, a local non-profit organization that has seen unprecedented fundraising success in its first three years. These two organizations began exploring a collaborative effort to build a new lodging facility for adult and pediatric patients and their families. RMHC joined their efforts, providing additional expertise in hospitality and family support services.
What is the demand for this project?
With Kootenai Health’s growth in services, total revenue has been steadily increasing over the past five years from $323 million in 2012 to a projected $491 million in 2017. Hospital emergency department visits have also grown 10 percent during this time. Additionally, one third of all patients seen at Kootenai Health are from outside Kootenai County. The need for accessible, affordable patient lodging has never been greater.
What is the timeline for completion?
Fundraising for the project will commence immediately. Architectural design is expected to be complete by fall of 2017. Construction of the new facility is anticipated to begin in the summer of 2018 with a targeted completion date sometime in early 2019. The current Walden House will remain fully operational and will continue to provide lodging for those patients and families in need until the new facility opens.
What will happen to the existing Walden House?
There is a tremendous legacy of the Walden family to be honored in this project. In the new hospitality center, the adult portion will still be called the Walden House. The history, mission, and story of the Walden family and the Walden House will be prominently displayed in the new facility. The current Walden House building will be sold and removed to allow continued growth and development of the medical office campus to meet the needs of our patients and community.
If I want to make a donation, where does it go? Who is managing the funds?
Community Cancer Fund is the lead fundraising organization for the hospitality center at Kootenai Health and will be managing the fundraising efforts and construction funding. Donations may be made at CommunityCancerFund.org. Once the hospitality center construction is completed, Community Cancer Fund will gift the building to Kootenai Health.