Spokane Journal of Business

Nonprofits to collaborate on patient lodging project in Cd’A

Hospitality center to be built at Kootenai Health

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-—Community Cancer Fund
The hospitality center envisioned on the Kootenai Health medical campus in Coeur d’Alene will have 20 suites to accommodate out-of-area patients seeking services at the hospital complex, as well as their families in some instances.

Community Cancer Fund, Kootenai Health, and Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Inland Northwest are collaborating to develop and operate lodging for adult and pediatric patients receiving medical treatment at Kootenai Health, says Jerid Keefer, Community Cancer Fund’s executive director.

To be called the Kootenai Health Hospitality Center, the facility will provide low-cost accommodations for adult patients and their families and free accommodations for pediatric patients and their families accessing hospital and clinical services at the Coeur d’Alene hospital, Keefer says.

The two-story facility will have 14 suites for adults and six suites for pediatric patient families, he says. The hospitality center also will have kitchen, laundry, and recreational facilities.

It will be built on a vacant lot on the northwest corner of the Kootenai Health campus, at 2003 Kootenai Health Way.

Keefer says a full construction cost hasn’t been estimated yet, although the hospitality center will be a multimillion-dollar project mostly financed through funds raised during Community Cancer Fund’s Showcase golf event.

The Showcase, which was held in July at the Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course, raised more than $4.1 million, he says.

“We wanted to try and raise as much toward the project as we could,” Keefer says. “I’d like to think we’ve put a pretty good dent in the overall cost from the Showcase event.”

Menlo Park, Calif.-based Katerra Inc. will design and construct the hospitality center, Keefer says.

Katerra, which was the presenting sponsor of the event, says on its website that the Kootenai Health Hospitality Center will be constructed with cross-laminated timber panels.

“We’re going to fund the project and work with Katerra to build it,” Keefer says. “Upon completion, we will gift it 100 percent to Kootenai Health.”

The adult-patient portion of the hospitality center will take the Walden House name and replace the existing, neighboring Walden House, which will be removed from the hospital campus when the hospitality center is complete, Keefer says.

Keefer says the new Walden House will have a larger capacity and will be designed to be more accessible than the original structure, which opened in 1990 with eight bedrooms.

Walden House is named in honor of A.K. and Ellen Walden, longtime benefactors to the Kootenai Health Foundation and to the community.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Inland Northwest will manage the pediatric section of the center, which will be a Ronald McDonald House facility. The Spokane-based nonprofit is affiliated with an international network of temporary lodging and support providers for families with children accessing medical services.

Keefer says Ronald McDonald House also is involved in the design phase of the project, providing additional expertise in hospitality and family support services.

Construction is expected to begin next summer, and the facility is to be completed in 2019, he says.

Kootenai Health provides comprehensive medical services to patients in North Idaho and throughout the Inland Northwest. Its flagship facility is a 292-bed, community-owned hospital, which recently expanded its neonatal intensive care unit, inspiring the need for Ronald McDonald House accommodations in Coeur d’Alene, Keefer says.

A third of all patients receiving care at Kootenai Health come from outside of Kootenai County, he says. Kootenai Health earlier had reported to the Journal that it had 13,722 hospital patient admissions in 2016, an increase of 3 percent compared with 2015 admissions.

Community Cancer Fund provides support to cancer patients, their families, and local organizations that serve them, Keefer says. The Spokane-based nonprofit was founded in 2014 by Keefer; Ryan Gee, CEO of Liberty Lake based Gee Automotive; and Fritz H. Wolff, executive chairman of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based The Wolff Co.

Wolff, who has Spokane roots, also is co-founder of Katerra, which the Journal earlier has reported is looking to construct a plant in Spokane Valley, where entire structures, such as apartment buildings, will be designed and manufactured in components to be assembled at project sites.

Mike McLean
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Deputy Editor Mike McLean has worked his entire journalism career in the Inland Northwest. Mike, who also lives to reel in fish and crank up music, has worked for the Journal since 2006.

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