After months of tearing out and remodeling, and hundreds of hours of volunteer manual labor, the Hospitality House of Tulsa is ready to open and begin providing lodging and support services on the Hillcrest Medical Center campus for out-of-town families of hospitalized patients.
The public grand opening celebration kicks off Tuesday, August 15, 2006, 6:30 –8:30 p.m. with a Block Party and Open House. The Block Party will feature live entertainment including the southern gospel bluegrass sounds of OK Express; theTrailblazers, a nationally recognized clogging team; and the Broken Arrow Varsity Tigettes dance team. Free food and refreshments will be provided by Coca-Cola and BAMA, and watermelon from Reasor’s. Tulsey Town Clowns and balloon artists will round out the family-oriented event.
The Hospitality House will also host Open House Tours on the Hillcrest Medical Center campus, Wednesday, August 16 through Friday, August 18, 10 am – 2 pm and 5 –7 pm daily for healthcare professionals, social workers, and the general public to tour and learn more about the services that are offered.
The organization will serve families who travel more than 30 miles to be with loved ones in Tulsa area hospitals, based on referrals from hospital social workers. The Hospitality House will begin receiving families on Monday, August 21, 2006.
“We encourage the public to help us celebrate the grand opening of The Hospitality House,” said Toni Moore, President, Hospitality House of Tulsa. “During the grand opening festivities, there are tours for those who want to see and learn more about the accommodations that will be available for families who come to Tulsa in a medical crisis. The Block Party on Tuesday evening is an opportunity for us to thank the many volunteers, donors, churches, organizations and businesses that have helped make our first home a reality.”
The comfortable home-away-from-home, situated in a small apartment building east of Hillcrest Medical Center, consists of seven guest suites and a Welcome Center which serves as the business office and social hub for the House. It is here where guests will gather for family-style evening meals and find a refuge of emotional and spiritual support.
The vision for the Hospitality House was first conceived by Toni Moore three years ago, and affirmed by Moore’s long-time friend Brooke Gage, a licensed professional counselor, who serves as Family Care Coordinator. The vision quickly gathered momentum as Moore and Gage began sharing their ideas and garnered support from corporate leaders, healthcare professionals, community-based organizations and churches.
The project catapulted into high gear in March when Moore and Steve Dobbs, CEO, Hillcrest Medical Center, announced that the hospital was donating an apartment building for the Hospitality House to convert into its first home.
“We understand that having a family member hospitalized is a stressful and emotional time for the other family members,” said Steve Dobbs, CEO, Hillcrest Medical Center. “Hillcrest Medical Center 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.”
According to the National Association of Hospital Hospitality Houses, it usually takes most Houses three years to move from incorporation to opening its doors for the first time. Because of the community’s support and Hillcrest’s donation, the Hospitality House of Tulsa, which was incorporated as a 501(3)(c) in July, 2005, has accomplished this in just one year.
“It’s been an amazing journey so far. We are incredibly thankful for the support we’ve received from Hillcrest and our friends throughout northeast Oklahoma. We are excited to open and begin the next chapter.”
For more information about the Hospitality House, go to www.hillcrest.com or www.tulsahospitalityhouse.org.