For families with a loved one in need of a lifesaving organ transplant, the only worry should be to get better. The reality for those families, however, is the organ transplantation journey often takes place far from home. That’s why Mid-America Transplant built the Family House, a home away from home for families awaiting transplant.
The Mid-America Transplant Family House offers comfortable mid-to-long term transplant housing for families who must relocate to St. Louis for life-saving transplant care. This low or no-cost option is crucial for families who are away from home and faced with transplant-related medical expenses.
“To date, we've served over 250 families since December 2013 from 26 states in our current Family House,” says Julie Walton, Transplant Programs Coordinator. “Being able to care for those people and seeing how they honor and treasure that gift of donation has just really been all inspiring for me.”
What makes Mid-America’s Family House necessary?
Patients and their families arrive from all over the country to access some of the best transplant centers the nation has to offer in Mid-America Transplant’s service area. Having access to low or no-cost transplant housing helps ease the lives of recipients and their families, so they can focus solely on their health and wellness.
“Those staying at the family house live 25 miles or more away. Because we have world-class transplants centers in St Louis, many patients and families have to relocate,” Walton says. “They're still paying for their mortgage, their utilities, and may still have kids in school back home.
Plus, the unknowns surrounding the transplant journey means recipients and families often don’t know how long they’re relocating for. Housing through the Family House is one less thing to worry about. “It can be an uncertain experience. I can't imagine how overwhelming that is,” Walton added. “The family house helps provide a safe place to stay that is going to support them. They’ll be around other transplant patients and caregivers and have that support.”
What does the Family House include?
The goal of the Family House is to feel like a home away from home for transplant recipients and their families. The staff at Mid-America Transplant thought of everything so families don’t have to. The Mid-America Transplant Family House offers:
● 10 fully furnished single-family apartments (4 one-bedroom, 4 two-bedroom, and 2 three-bedroom apartments are available)
● Private kitchens and bathrooms
● Washer and dryer in every unit
● Queen size beds in master bedrooms
● Wireless internet access
● Cable television in every unit
● Access to a fitness and wellness center
● A network for family members and caregivers to receive support from others undergoing the transplant journey, as well as Mid-America Transplant staff
Family House referrals must be submitted by a transplant professional at one of the four transplant centers in St. Louis. They also must live at least 25 miles from the transplant hospital and adhere to the Mid-America Transplant Family House policies and guest guidelines.
Mid-America adding a second Family House
Mid-America Transplant’s Family House is growing. Work is being done on a new 34,000-square-foot building in St. Louis City, which will provide double the capacity of the existing Family House. “Our mission statement is to save lives through excellence in organ and tissue donation. As part of that, we’re building a new family house, which will provide lodging for transplant recipients before and after their transplant in St Louis,” says Walton.
The new Family House will feature 21 apartments ranging from one to three bedrooms, and each will have a private kitchen, bathroom, and washer and dryer. Other amenities include wireless internet, cable TV, and a fitness center. It will be located in a vibrant neighborhood with access to restaurants and Forest Park attractions, including a free zoo and museums.
“The Family House is an important part of our mission to be stewards of our donors’ lifesaving gifts,” said Diane Brockmeier, President and CEO of Mid-America Transplant. “We’re helping to ensure that when an organ becomes available, the patient is ready to receive it, and can remain close-by for ongoing care following their transplant. Through these successful transplants, our donors’ legacies live on.”
Join the Mid-America Transplant mission
“For me, working at Mid-America Transplant is not just a job, it's really part of my life, but in a good way. It's something that I'm proud to be associated with,” Walton added. Consider joining an organization committed to a lifesaving mission and find a rewarding career with Mid-America Transplant. View our current job openings.