June 4, 2013 marks the first anniversary at Sophia’s House, our guest house for patients and families whose loved ones are being cared for at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s. Over the past year, Sophia’s House has served more than 745 guests, with over 1,400 overnight stays, with the farthest guest traveling from California.
Ten volunteers and two interns staff Sophia’s House to offer the comforts of home to guests and patients. Many guests enjoy the peaceful surroundings and convenience of Sophia’s House, stating:
“The stay at Sophia’s House was the closest experience to staying at home. Sophia’s House provided us with a safe haven for the duration of the medical stay at Saint Mary’s for my daughter.”
“It made the entire hospital experience much more comfortable. One of the best hotels I’ve ever stayed at.”
Additionally, a cooking program was created to offer home cooked meals to our guests. These meals are prepared on a volunteer basis and include many Saint Mary’s associates, along with community volunteers. In March, Sophia’s House participated in the Grand Valley Alumni Volunteer Week, which promotes volunteering throughout the community. Meals were prepared and were frozen for the guests to enjoy at their convenience. The cooking program is a relief to guests who are not familiar with the area, and are looking for a home-cooked meal.
“The privacy and freedom to come and go while being close to the hospital was great. My daughter donated a kidney to my husband (her father) so I had two loved ones recovering at the same time. Even a close hotel would have increased my stress from traveling to and from and dealing with the public and obtaining meals. Thank you for all your help!”
In December 2012, Sophia’s House earned a Gold certification in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Sophia’s House minimizes its impact on the environment through the reuse of an existing facility, which helps save significantly on materials and energy costs. The LEED opportunity enables Sophia’s House to offer guests a reasonable room rate and alleviates the stress of finances, while visiting their loved one in the hospital.
Thank you to all associates, physicians, nurses, volunteers and security officers who have helped make the first year of Sophia’s House operations a great success!
To learn more information or to participate in the “What’s Cookin’ at Sophia’s House” program, please contact Steffanie Townshend at 616-685-1888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.