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University of Iowa News Release

July 22, 2004

"A Wonderful Place" Located At UI Hospitals And Clinics

"Thank you for providing a comfortable place to stay while my dad was in the hospital. Being able to stay right there made things much easier," writes an appreciative young woman from Wisconsin.

"You have a wonderful place -- so convenient and a big help to me and my family," writes another grateful recipient from Missouri.

Those are just a few of the many thank-you letters collected through the years by Beth Evans and her co-workers at the Helen K. Rossi Volunteer Guest House (HRVGH), a home-away-from-home for patients and their families at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics.

The HRVGH joins many similar programs across the nation to celebrate National Hospital Hospitality House Week, July 25-31. The HRVGH is a member of the National Association of Hospital Hospitality Houses, a private, non-profit organization consisting of more than 150 hospitality houses providing family-centered lodging and other support services to patients and their loved ones far from home during treatment.

The 14-room guesthouse opened in December 1997 on the fifth level of UI Hospitals and Clinics. Helen Rossi, one of the founders of the UI Hospitals and Clinics Volunteer Program 30 years ago, and visionary UI Hospitals and Clinics administrators helped develop the guesthouse.

"Guests are so appreciative of the opportunity to stay right here in the hospital," said Evans, HRVGH concierge since the guesthouse opened. "Being near a loved one helps reduce some of the stress associated with their hospital stay."

Since the HRVGH opened, 3,589 guests have stayed in its comfortable rooms. Overnight stays range from one night to as many as 488 consecutive nights. Rooms rent for $30 per night on a first-come, first-served basis. Vacancies are rare because the need is so great. In fact, the HRVGH will soon double in size, thanks to a $1 million grant from Wal-Mart and Children's Miracle Network. Sixteen new rooms specifically reserved for pediatric patients and their families will open by the end of the year. Currently, Guest House rooms are for use by adult patients and their families. Expanding the Guest House to an additional level on the fourth floor of the General Hospital will serve family members of patients of the Pediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care Units.

Because the HRVGH often has a lengthy waiting list, staffers work closely with local hotels to accommodate the lodging needs of patients and their family members. Five area hotels partner with UI Hospitals and Clinics to offer significantly reduced rates for patients and their families.

UI Hospitals and Clinics is the state's only academic medical center. University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room E110 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945,