Grant to help build hospitality house


Oncology patients traveling from out of town or heart patients arriving for early morning procedures at New Hanover Regional Medical Center could soon have a new home away from home.

The NHRMC Board of Trustees on Tuesday approved the request from the hospital Auxiliary to apply for a $2 million dollar challenge grant from the State Employees Credit Union Foundation to help build a new hospitality house.

Board member Richard McGraw said the cost to remodel the current 11-room Hospitality House at 1612 Medical Center Drive would be almost as much as the $4 million needed to build a new 20-room house. The house would be built on 4 acres the hospital owns along Physicians Drive, just blocks from the hospital. NHRMC President and CEO Jack Barto said the land would be donated for the project.

"Clearly, with people coming from seven counties in two states, we need some room," Barto said. "We've got a lot of people staying two to three weeks."

An architect will be brought in and construction could begin early next year, Barto said.

Aline Lasseter, executive director and vice president of development for the hospital foundation, said the new and larger hospitality house would allow family members of all types of patients to stay.

Barto said the Hospitality House charges $35 a night. A plus for the new house, despite having more rooms, would be the addition of private bathrooms. The current house can sleep 34 people, but has only two communal bathrooms.

The SECU Foundation pledged a $2 million gift to help build the SECU Family House at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill and a $2 million challenge grant to Hospital Hospitality House of Winston-Salem to help build a SECU Family House on the Richard J. Reynolds III and Marie M. Reynolds Campus.