Last spring, a donor who wishes to remain anonymous called the Foundation to inquire about making a donation. She had a very specific purpose in mind: to ease the stress family members experience when a loved one is in the hospital, particularly when the hospital is far from home. In August, after several conversations with Foundation President Jodi Barnard, the donor made the lead gift to establish a patient family residence near El Camino Hospital’s Mountain View campus, in memory of her husband and daughter, who had recently died. “People come to you in need and you have the ability to help comfort them,” she explained. “I’m glad to be a part of El Camino Hospital’s efforts to help families.”
“Worried family members who put the needs of their loved ones first can forget to take care of themselves,” says Barnard. “They may forget to eat. They may sleep by their loved one’s side in a hospital chair or in a car because they can’t afford the price of a nearby hotel room. Our lead donor wanted El Camino Hospital to have a home-like place where family members could stay overnight, share meals, or find respite during the day.”
The new facility is inspired by JW House, a patient family residence in Santa Clara. It will be located at the end of South Drive, where the Road Runners fleet of cars now parks. The facility will have overnight family suites, private day use rooms, and larger common areas including a kitchen, dining room, living room and laundry. It will serve as a “home away from home,” where caregivers can take care of their personal needs in a homey environment and find comfort from knowing they are not alone. Once refreshed, they will be better able to provide the love, support, and mental presence the patient needs.
After learning about the budding project, Pamela and Edward Taft also stepped up with a significant contribution, hoping others would join them to help move it forward. If you would like to contribute to the patient family residence, please contact Foundation President Jodi Barnard.