Thursday, March 25, 2010
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Mayo Clinic and St. Andrew's Lighthouse today announced the groundbreaking and start of construction for the Gabriel House of Care on the clinic's Jacksonville campus. The $8.8-million, 30-room, extended-stay patient housing facility will have a distinctive, residential design with amenities that promote a sense of community and encourage patients and their families to share experiences and build friendships that can help facilitate the healing process. The project is expected to be completed in spring 2011.
Mayo Clinic and St. Andrew's Lighthouse are fundraising for the house's construction and operation. Jorge and Leslie Bacardi of the Bahamas made the lead gift to express their gratitude to Mr. Bacardi's organ donor, Christopher Gregory, a 19-year-old college student from Baltimore who passed away unexpectedly.
Gabriel House of Care is being built on a 4-acre lakeside site located at the west end of Mayo Clinic's campus. It will be owned by Mayo Clinic and leased to and operated by St. Andrew's Lighthouse. The facility will provide extended-stay housing specifically for visiting organ transplant and cancer patients receiving radiation therapy and their families who must remain in the Jacksonville area for long periods to receive specialized medical treatment. St. Andrew's Lighthouse currently houses some Mayo Clinic patients and their families in two smaller housing facilities and coordinates a hotel lodging program for patients.
"Gabriel House of Care was designed and developed collaboratively by Mayo Clinic and St. Andrew's Lighthouse to provide the support features that will help patients through their treatment and recovery," said Ed Asher, executive director of St. Andrew's Lighthouse. "Also, its pristine location is just far enough away from the hospital to offer much-needed respite, but close enough to provide convenience and ready access. This is the best of both worlds for patients and their caregivers."
Just released renderings of the facility reveal architecture and interior design similar to a "southern inn," comfortable and inviting with a dramatic stairwell at the main entry, reminiscent of a bed and breakfast. Gabriel House of Care's residential design promotes social interaction among residents, allowing them to share similar experiences, and fosters a sense of community. To promote this philosophy, there are no TVs in patient rooms. Instead, there are multiple large common areas designed for gathering and socializing, including a great room, game/TV room, exercise room, library, meditation area, community kitchen and dining room. There's even a large screened-in porch overlooking a large lake on campus, an ideal place for reflection or for year-round social gatherings. Additionally, all patient rooms are designed to feel like home, with private baths, wood floors and residential-style furnishings.
Another interesting feature of the Gabriel House of Care is that it's the first building on Mayo Clinic's campus to be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified, an internationally recognized green building certification system. The building is designed to maximize energy efficiency and indoor air quality, reduce emissions and waste, provide enhanced safety features and offer a high-standard healthy living environment that meets the special needs of recovering transplant and cancer patients. The building meets all Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements, and every patient room is designed to accommodate people with disabilities.
Founded in 1996, St. Andrew's Lighthouse has become a "home away from home" for more than 1,200 patients and families from 36 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and three foreign countries. The Jacksonville-based organization recognized a growing need for temporary, supportive housing for patients and families traveling to Jacksonville for specialized medical care. The organization has operated a home in Jacksonville Beach since 2000, featuring four private bedrooms and community living, dining and kitchen areas. A second home with two private bedrooms was added in 2008 to accommodate longer-term stays. In 2006, it also launched a unique program to provide subsidized hotel lodging to qualified organ transplant patients and their families. To date, 820 guest families have received more than 8,600 room nights through this program.
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