SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) — The American Cancer Society announced that University of Utah healthcare workers and workers at the Huntsman Institute may stay at the Hope Lodge for free in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a release.
The Hope Lodge will be available to these healthcare workers to rest between shifts or stay the night to allow them to avoid the possibility of infecting family members with the virus.
In March, ACS closed over 30 Hope Lodge patient housing facilities for patient safety. Therefore, Hope Lodge now has 40 rooms in Salt Lake City to offer to healthcare providers giving essential healthcare services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Each room offers beds, a bathroom, and access to laundry and a kitchen space.
“We are honored to support University of Utah Health and Huntsman Cancer Institute who are caring for our community during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Cidne Christensen, American Cancer Society community development director. “The healthcare workers are making tremendous personal sacrifices and providing them with this home away from home will offer comfort and a place rest, just as it does for cancer patients and caregivers.”
Opening the Hope Lodge to healthcare workers provides an answer for some care professionals who are worried about returning home at the end of a shift. “This generous gift from the American Cancer Society will provide peace of mind to our cancer care and other health professionals who will have this housing resource available to them,” said Mary Beckerle, PhD, Huntsman Cancer Institute chief executive officer. “As HCI works to keep our cancer patients and staff safe during COVID-19, we are heartened by the generous support of the American Cancer Society and this incredible community that is banding together to keep patients and health care professionals safe during COVID-19.”
The ACS is using a COVID-19 Response Fund to keep the facilities running for healthcare workers at this time and to maintain the rooms for cancer patients in the future. Visit cancer.org/hopelodgefund to donate to the fund.