FLINT TWP. — A public grand opening and ribbon cutting for McLaren Medical Center’s new Hospitality House on Beecher Road is being planned for 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 17.
The R.S.V.P. event includes a brief program, vocal music presentation by the Flint Jubilee Chorale, tours of the Hospitality House and refreshments.
Built in conjunction with McLaren’s new Proton Therapy Cancer Treatment Center, opening later this year, the Hospitality House is designed to accommodate Proton Beam Therapy patients and their caregivers who are traveling to Flint for treatment. Proton Beam Therapy is widely considered the most effective way to treat many types of solid tumors, while causing virtually no side effects, and is especially effective for pediatric brain cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer and cancers of the spine.
McLaren has long realized patient care goes beyond medical treatment to include emotional, spiritual, and extended physical needs of patients and their caregivers. That was the catalyst behind the development of a Hospitality House. Besides providing a healing, caring, comfortable environment for patients and family, the Hospitality House will provide extended-stay housing at no or low cost.
Proton therapy patients are required to undergo treatment five-to-six days a week, for consecutive six-to-eight week periods. Each treatment only takes about 30 minutes to an hour. The Hospitality House aims to fill in the down time with a full complement of activities, programs, quiet spaces and amenities to support healing. Paying for traditional hotel lodging for 40 to 60 days would pose a large financial burden for many patients and their families, not to mention the inconvenience of traveling to and from the hotel to the treatment facility.
The Hospitality House is next door to the Proton Therapy Center and is designed to provide a home away from home. Key features include:
• 30 guest rooms. (Some include two double-beds, sitting area, private bathroom, clothes closet, credenza, flatscreen TV, desk, internet access, small refrigerator, pantry, and telephones with personalized voicemail service);
• Large Gathering Room, designed for relaxing and socializing;
• Reflection room to provide a nondenominational setting for quiet reflection as well as a sacred place for prayer services;
• Food Preparation Areas featuring fully-equipped kitchens for guests who would like to make their own meals;
• Dining Room for daily meals and conversation with fellow guests;
• Library with books appropriate for every age as well as a quiet space for those seeking solitude;
• Exercise Facility and access to Outdoor Walking Trail for guests interested in maintaining their physical activity;
• Laundry Room with washers, dryers, irons and ironing boards;
• Playroom geared toward familyfriendly fun with toys, video games, children’s books, TV and DVD;
• Activities room for specialized therapies, including art therapy, yoga, massage, and other services;
• Front Lobby with conversational seating and other features to makes guests feel welcome;
• A multi-purpose and conference room (capacity 150 – 200), which can be divided into three smaller conference rooms. These rooms will accommodate education and training programs for physicians as well as educational programs and support groups for patients and caregivers;
• Schedule of Daily Events, Special Trips and other Entertainment, including outings to Flint-area attractions and information on area restaurants, golf courses, swimming pools, etc.;
• Outdoor Playground featuring multi-use equipment for children’s activities;
• Deck (or patio) and Gazebo for a gathering area on fair weather days; Grills available to guests;
• RV area with capacity for 4–5 RVs.
The McLaren Proton Therapy Center will be the only proton center in Michigan, and is expected to draw patients statewide, and from Canada and surrounding states. McLaren’s Proton Therapy Center will initially be the only one in the world to offer advanced functionality that promises even better clinical outcomes, so it is feasible that the center will have national appeal as well.
Staffing is in place, and being provided in collaboration with the Hospitality Administration Program at Central Michigan University. Trained volunteers will augment staffing services. — Rhonda Sanders