Families who travel for medical care lessen their separation and anxiety when they take temporary refuge at the Prairie Heart Guest House.
Jane Malms' husband had to have an angiogram at Avera Heart Hospital, but the Gregory resident didn't have to make the nightly drive to a far away hotel.
"It's a relief because you're just so frightened and scared of what's happening and the unknown and you just don't want to leave," she said. Jane stayed at the Prairie Heart Guest House.
It's a nonprofit hotel built because Avera Heart Hospital staff, North Central Heart physicians and spouses like Debby Reynolds and Sela Negalhout saw a need for housing near the hospital. They've recently expanded: it now includes 11 guest rooms with the possibility of adding 6 more. The Cardiac Rehab Program will also be located on the 2nd floor of the guest house.
The original 20 room non-profit hotel was built in 2003. Over the years of growth, staff noticed a need for more rooms
"We turned hundreds of people away, and it wasn't just when it was bad weather. We were turning away people year round," said Debby Reynolds.
Added Sela Negalhout: "We just believe that the emotional connectedness would be such an important component to the overall healing process that takes place here."
If the caregiver is close by, it's one less burden for the patient
"To be able to just walk down the hallway and have a soft place to fall and to be able to rest through the night is really nice," said Jane who's husband is now back home recovering in Gregory.
Rooms rent for $47 a night including tax, but if someone has income considerations they can stay for free.
If you have questions call 877-AT-AVERA or visit this website: www.averamckennan.org