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The Family House "Could Be Life-Changing"

Posted December 19, 2013 in Hospital Partner News

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Life changing.  Unlike any other resource. Wonderful.

Mid-America Transplant Services opened the Family House in December to these sentiments from transplant professionals who toured the 10-apartment wing of The Lofts at the Highlands. The Family House, dedicated to longtime board member and Donor Family, Bob and Marge Murphy, offers comfortable, safe and affordable housing for pre- and post-transplant patients who must relocate to St. Louis to be near their transplant center hospital.

“It’s very impressive,” said Heather Lawyer, an outreach coordinator at Saint Louis University Hospital who coordinates education and communication between the transplant center and the nephrology community. “I don’t know of any other resource like this available to a specific group of people who are going through a very difficult situation and time. Housing is one of the number one challenges that people face, especially those from out of the area. To have this as an option makes a huge impact on their ability to even pursue transplantation.”

Visit our photo gallery for more photos from the Family House

MTS’s transplant center partners have often remarked on the high demand for affordable housing by transplant candidates. Responding to this need, MTS is offering 10 fully furnished apartments to patients needing to be close to their transplant center. MTS hopes the Family House can eliminate an obstacle for patients waiting for a life-saving transplant.  

kribbs-06croppedSam and Katie Kribbs, of Kansas City, moved into the Family House in December. A cystic fibrosis patient, Sam is waiting for a lung transplant at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. The simplest household items, like a refrigerator, mean so much to the Kribbs, who would have commuted from Kansas City or stayed in a hotel while Sam waited.

It’s nothing for me to work on two or three out-of-state patients per week,” said Sue Hogenmiller, a financial coordinator at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. “And when they have to come on short notice,  knowing they have something as welcoming and as nice as this to stay in right away is wonderful.”

The single-family apartments include private kitchens and bathrooms, private laundry facilities and access to a fitness and wellness center. MTS has four one-bedroom units, four two-bedroom units, and two three-bedroom units.

“It could almost be life-changing,” said June Pearse, a team lead for Pastoral Care at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center. “This will help reduce some of the stress they have. I have known families that have had to stay near the transplant center for 100 days after the transplant, and they have really struggled to figure out what they’re going to do for that time. I think this will help with the healing process.”

fhopenhouse-017MTS staff answered questions about the Family House as hospital partners toured the 10 apartments at an open house in December.

MTS hopes the Family House offers a comfortable “home away from home” for patients and their families during an often difficult and stressful time in their lives.

 “To able to come into this clean, nice environment and have other people in similar situations as themselves,” said Masina Scavuzzo, lung transplant coordinator at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, “… I think it gives them the opportunity to not feel alone after relocating from another city or state.”

To be eligible for occupancy of the MTS Family House, a patient must be receiving pre- or post-transplant care from Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center, St. Louis Children’s Hospital or Saint Louis University Hospital. Additionally, the family must live at least 25 minutes or more from the transplant hospital and agree to the MTS Family House policies and guest guidelines. Request for housing must be received by referral from the transplant hospital.

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