WAUWATOSA -- Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin will be the lead investor in a project to build a new Kathy’s House facility, and has committed to fund $6 million of the estimated $7 million project cost. That announcement came in a news release on Thursday morning, January 26th.
"This is a gamer changer! This is probably the most significant day in Kathy`s House history. It`s an amazing investment not only in the new facility, but an amazing investment in the service we provide," Patty Metropulos, executive director and CEO of Kathy's House said.
"It was absolutely a no-brainier -- incredibly easy to say yes to their request because they have serviced our patients so well since they`ve opened in 200 and we see it as a very valuable asset," Cathy Buck, president of Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin said.
Kathy’s House is a non-profit hospital guest house. It provides lodging, meals and respite for non-local patients and their families who come to the Milwaukee area for medical care. According to Metropulos, Kathy’s House has been operating at capacity for several years, and the 2021 expiration of its lease with St. Camillus Health Center for its current site at 600 N. 103rd Street added urgency to efforts to find a new, larger location.
More than 1,000 stayed at Kathy's House in 2016.
"At the end of 2016, our average occupancy is 85% and unfortunately several times a month we have to turn families away because our house is simply full. We get a lot of folks here from the Green Bay, Fox Valley area as well as the UP and upper Midwest and we`re also seeing increasing numbers from all over the country," Metropulos said.
Metropulos said in the news release that Kathy’s House will seek donations to raise the remaining $1 million.
A site for the new Kathy’s House is still to be determined, and a construction timeline hasn’t been established. Plans call for a 20,000-square-foot building that would increase the current 18 guest rooms to 24 and include a special wing for long-term guests.
"We`re really looking forward to having an elevator and guard rails and large bathrooms," Metropulos said.