New House – FAQ
Yes! Kathy’s House welcomed our first guests to our New Home for Healing on June 7, 2021.
The new Kathy’s House offers the following upgrades from our original home:
- 36 guest rooms double capacity
- A separate wing with 12 two-room suites for immunocompromised patients and for those in need of long-term lodging
- 6 fully ADA-accessible rooms and full ADA compliance in each guest room
- Proximity to Froedtert Hospital & the Medical College of Wisconsin clinics
- The nation’s only hospital guest house patient services room, where contracted staff can perform basic procedures (e.g. blood draws)
- Secure entry and evening security
- A design that intentionally incorporates the Eight Dimensions of Wellness into a National Model of Care
- The 77-kilowatt solar array consists of approximately 200 flush-mounted panels on a 20/25-degree tilt on the two largest, south-facing roof areas of the new building.
- The panels will produce nearly 100,000 kilowatts in a typical year, providing approximately 40 percent of projected electricity needs.
- Solar power will generate 40 percent of the energy and save about $12,000 annually and more than $415,000 over 30 years for the new Kathy’s House.
- It is the first solar panel installation on the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center campus.
- The building uses MRMC’s large central chiller plant for its air conditioning system, reducing electric consumption by an average of 50%. This system is 40-60% more efficient than conventional air conditioning systems.
- To receive an Energy Star Rating from the EPA, the air conditioning system for Kathy’s House would need an Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) between 11 and 12. By using the central chiller plant, Kathy’s House is able to exceed this ratio by 30%.
- In general terms, the chilled water plant can provide chilled water at a much lower cost than the electricity would have cost Kathy’s House to run their own cooling equipment.
Outdoor air system/Boiler
- The building uses an energy recovery dedicated outdoor air unit which preheats all of the fresh air delivered to the spaces with exhaust air, providing up to 50% more energy savings than compared to untreated outdoor air systems.
- The building uses high-efficiency condensing boilers to create hot water for space heating. These boilers have a heating efficiency of 94% compared to a code minimum of 82% for a standard boiler.
Guest Room Key Cards
- All 36 guest rooms will utilize a key card switch to automatically control both the HVAC and lighting in guest rooms. When a guest enters their room, they place their key card into the switch located inside the entryway, thereby activating the thermostat control unit, bringing it into “occupied” mode. When the guest leaves the room, they remove their key card from the key card switch and both the thermostat and the lights return to energy-saving mode. Hotels have realized significant savings from this energy management system.
- A total of 38 trees were removed to prepare for construction. Some of these trees were damaged, diseased, or dead. Every effort was made to preserve trees to the maximum degree possible.
- Our landscaping plan includes the addition of 67 new trees – almost twice as many as removed. The grounds surrounding Kathy’s House will be park-like, with many shrubs, perennial beds and other plants. A walking path connects Kathy’s House to Doyne Avenue. A pedestrian crossing will be installed at the Doyne Avenue end of the path – providing for safe access to CFAC and the Cancer Center.
- Wood from the removed trees will be reclaimed and used to furnish the new Kathy’s House. Specific pieces include 12 benches (indoor and outdoor), two fireplace mantels, a large circular coffee table, a 500-piece donor wall and interior room signs.
The original Kathy’s House was rented from St. Camillus, and they retain ownership. St. Camillus has not announced plans for the space.
A New Home for Healing is a $12 million capital campaign to fund the newly constructed Kathy’s House near Froedtert Hospital so we can meet the growing demand for our services and continue to make a difference in the lives of patients and families facing cancer and other major medical issues.
Patients and families who seek to stay at Kathy’s House are facing one of the most stressful times in their lives – a medical crisis. It is heartbreaking to add to a family’s stress by not having space to house them. Turning people away means that a patient may not be able to access the expert care they need and/or an inpatient’s out-of-town family cannot be with them during a serious illness or trauma. For the past few years, Kathy’s House was unable to help many families in need of lodging due to a medical crisis. In fact, in 2018 the House turned away more than 300 families (about 600 guests) or placed them on a waiting list simply because rooms were not available. Milwaukee is home to one of the nation’s top Cancer Centers which is why patient referrals to Kathy’s House continue to grow. According to guest surveys, 40% of patients indicated that they would have been unable to access the care they needed without Kathy’s House. It is not a stretch to say that turning people away will result in patients not receiving the life-saving services they need.
The $12,000,000 campaign includes construction costs estimated at $11,100,000, an additional $500,000 for programming and sustainability to help fund increased operational costs in the new House, and $400,000 to cover the cost of the campaign.
As our long‐time hospital partner, Froedtert Hospital understands the importance of lodging and support for out-of-town patients and their families and gave a lead gift of $5,900,000 to the capital campaign. With less than $500,000 left to raise, our project and campaign are nearing completion. We ask the community for their generous support in helping us cross the finish line.
Our first Home, located near St. Camillus, was 15,000 square feet with 18 guest rooms, only six of which were accessible without navigating stairs. Our new House is 30,600 square feet, ADA-compliant, and features separate wings – one exclusively for those whose immune systems are compromised by their treatment – for a total of 36 rooms.
The design of the new House allows for future expansion of an additional guest wing.
We have heard our families say many times, “How far would you go to seek the medical support you or your loved one truly needs?” Most would say there is no distance too far. While the House is proud to support people from a wide geographic area, most of the families served are from Wisconsin and the greater Midwest.
Milwaukee is very fortunate to have leading edge medical facilities that provide the best care for cancer and other patients. Our city is proud to host and help those the House serves, and know that the love and caring of patients and their caregivers during challenging times goes beyond geographical boundaries and to the core of our community’s capacity for compassion.
Campaign leaders are diligently fundraising for this time-sensitive project to reach our goal of $12,000,000. Construction of the new House, and fundraising for it, will be complete by the end of 2021.
The New Home for Healing campaign supports building the new Kathy’s House to ensure that we can continue to serve those in need of our services for decades to come. Included in the campaign is $500,000 to help fund increased operational costs in the new, larger House. The ongoing expense associated with operation and stewardship of Kathy’s House requires that annual fund efforts also continue to support the overall mission.
The campaign goal of $12,000,000 includes $500,000 to seed an endowment to help fund increased costs in the larger facility. Furthermore, Kathy’s House has aggressively and strategically increased its operating revenues since 2012 to serve growing numbers of families. A 10-year proforma has been completed to account for all estimated costs and requisite funds needed to operate the new House.
Yes, named giving opportunities are available. Please contact Katie Sparks, Director of Philanthropy, at email@example.com or (414) 453-8290 for a current list of those still available.
Kathy’s House will gratefully accept one-time gifts, multi-year pledges up to five years, or gifts of stocks and securities. Please contact Katie Sparks, Director of Philanthropy, firstname.lastname@example.org or (414) 453-8290 for details.
Kathy’s House is a hospital guest house committed to providing affordable lodging and caring support in a “home away from home” environment for patients and their families who need to travel to Milwaukee for medical care.
The Ronald McDonald House serves families where the patient is 21 years of age or younger. Kathy’s House serves patients of any age and their families, though most are adults. We serve children at Kathy’s House, but they are usually an adolescent patient or the child of an adult patient.
Kathy’s House is a non-profit Hospital Guest House that provides lodging and a supportive environment to families who are experiencing personal illness or the serious illness of a loved one. It is a caring place where guests can eat, sleep and be with others when they want – or be alone when they need time, introspection and quiet healing.
Since opening in 2001, Kathy’s House has provided 150,000 lodging nights, a supportive environment, and amenities such as transportation to area hospitals for more than 22,000 individuals. 85% of guests are here because of a cancer diagnosis, 45% of guests are patients (many of them are receiving a bone marrow transplant which requires a stay of 9 weeks), and 55% are family members/caregivers for someone who is receiving medical treatment in a Milwaukee hospital. 71% of guests are Wisconsin residents with most coming from Northeast WI followed by the Southeastern part of the state along the Illinois border. With a few exceptions, guests must live at least 50 miles outside of Milwaukee.
Families who live 50 miles or greater outside of the Milwaukee area and have a family member who is being treated at a Milwaukee area hospital are eligible to stay at the House. A member of the patient’s health care team is asked to complete and send a referral form to Kathy’s House to initiate a request to stay at the House. Requests are granted on a first come, first served basis. Both patients receiving outpatient care and family members or caregivers of patients can stay at Kathy’s House. The House is the only Hospital Guest House in Milwaukee that serves patients of all ages and their caregivers. There is no limit to the number of nights a family can stay at the house once they become a guest.