Hospital Hospitality House of Southwest Michigan CEO Judy Markusse Paget says many people don’t know about their organization because they haven’t needed their services.
Hospital Hospitality House’s Two Houses One Heart Campaign was launched earlier this year to build two cottages, one each on the grounds of Bronson and Borgess Hospitals. It will allow family members to stay nearby while a loved one is in the hospital. Markusse Paget says most of their clients are parents of a baby in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Markusse Paget says Hospital Hospitality House has been operating at its location on South Street for 32 years. But the current building is not handicap accessible, so people have to be turned people away. Plus the new cottages will be a short walk from the hospitals. Markusse Paget says research shows that people in the hospital fare better when they have family nearby.
Hospital Hospitality House set out to raise $4.8-million, that included $1-million for an endowment. Markusse Paget says they have raised $4.1-million. In an interview in March, she was hoping that a ribbon cutting ceremony could be held for one of the houses before the end of the year. Ground has been broken on one facility (near Borgess). Markusse Paget says the money has come in a little slower than anticipated, but she says the major reason for the dealy in the timeline is that the Home Builders Association donated the work to build the first house and are relying on volunteers to finish the job.
Markusse Paget says it will probably be two years before both houses are operating. But she says that will allow Hospital Hospitality House to almost double their capacity.