|PHOTO COURTESY OF UNIVERSITY OF UTAH HEALTH CARE |
Because many patients travel long distances to seek care at its hospital, University of Utah Health Care, Salt Lake City, has made affordable housing available for patients and their families at a former hotel that the hospital is upgrading.
The new Patient and Family Housing facility, which officially opened in November and already is filled to capacity, gives out-of-state patients and their families a home away from home, says Marissa Villasenor, the health system’s spokesperson.
The organization is leasing a former Baymont Inn & Suites where it remodeled 61 rooms and installed new furniture and beds. It also renovated the hotel lobby by painting walls and installing new furniture and carpeting.
About half of the rooms are suites with kitchenettes, a bed and a foldout sofa for those who need long-term housing, and half are regular guest rooms with queen-size beds. The room cost ranges from $36 to $47 per night, and financial assistance is available to those who need help.
“We want to make sure we accommodate everyone,” Villasenor says.
The hotel, located near Salt Lake City International Airport, offers access to light rail services as well as shuttles to the hospital and nearby shopping centers.
Nearly 30 percent of the health care system’s patients travel more than 100 miles for treatment at University of Utah Health Care, with many coming from the Intermountain West region that includes Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada and Colorado, Villasenor says.
University of Utah Hospital draws many out-of-state patients and their families because it is the only Level I trauma center in the region that can treat burn victims as well as cancer patients and those awaiting organ transplants. The hospital treats an estimated 952,000 outpatients and 30,000 inpatients annually, Villasenor says.
The hotel is in addition to 16 apartments located near the hospital campus that the hospital makes available to families of patients being treated at the Huntsman Cancer Institute.