WAUSAU — In partnership with the community and medical partners, Aspirus will create a safe, affordable, temporary home away from home for patients traveling to Wausau to receive critical medical care and families dealing with loved ones’ serious illnesses or medical crises, Aspirus announced this week.

The Family House will be at the corner of 28th Avenue and Westhill Drive, near Aspirus Wausau Hospital, where ENT & Allergy Associates is currently located. It will include 10 bedrooms with private bathrooms and shared living spaces designed as a home-like environment.

The Family House will be different from a hotel in that patients and families will be referred by physicians, social workers, referral coordinators and other Aspirus team members based on need (financial, distance traveled, degree of illness and duration of treatment, etc.), according to an Aspirus news release. Guests of the Family House will be served by dedicated staff and volunteers. Community groups will provide additional support.

The project is expected to cost about $4.5 million. All eight Aspirus hospitals in Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the Aspirus Health Foundation have committed a total of $2.5 million. Donors and the medical community have given gifts totaling $1.9 million to help bring the Family House to life.

Construction is scheduled to start July 2019 and the Family House will begin serving guests in January 2020.

The need

The Aspirus health system serves patients in 14 counties across northern and central Wisconsin, as well as the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The integrated system includes four hospitals in Michigan, four hospitals in Wisconsin and 50 clinics throughout the region.

Every year, thousands of people travel to Wausau from the regions served by Aspirus hospitals and clinics for specialty care at Aspirus. This includes patients traveling for long-term outpatient care, as well as families whose loved ones are hospitalized, and patients traveling for early or late-day appointments. The most vulnerable patients and families cannot afford housing even at the discounted rates offered by Aspirus’ hotel partners.

How to donate

The Aspirus Health Foundation invites everyone to help create the Family House through a charitable donation. Details about the project, the Give Healing a Home campaign and goal to raise $100,000 are available online at aspirus.org/familyhouse.

Photo courtesy Aspirus.

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