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MHM Announces $11M Gift to American Cancer Society to Bring First Hope Lodge Community to South Texas
The facility will improve cancer patient’s access to care when traveling to San Antonio
San Antonio, TX (March 29, 2023) – Today, Methodist Healthcare Ministries announced a gift of up to $11,000,000 to the American Cancer Society (ACS) to support its efforts to bring its first Hope Lodge facility to South Texas. The facility will be named the American Cancer Society Methodist Healthcare Ministries Hope Lodge and will be located in San Antonio, TX. The Hope Lodge community will provide free, temporary lodging for people facing cancer and their caregivers when seeking treatment at one of South Texas’s premier medical centers. The gift from Methodist Healthcare Ministries was announced at a special event planned alongside ACS to kick off the capital campaign that will secure the funds necessary to complete the project.
Conveniently located near cancer treatment centers in the South Texas Medical Center on Floyd Curl Drive, the facility will offer 40 private guest suites each with a private bath and all the comforts of home at no cost to the cancer patient and their caregiver. In addition, the facility will feature common living areas, dining rooms, laundry facilities, a library, recreation room and outdoor garden. Free transportation to and from local cancer treatment centers will also be included.
“The American Cancer Society is committed to breaking down access-to-care barriers many cancer patients must face when they travel away from home for treatment,” said Jeff Fehlis, executive vice president for the American Cancer Society. “This $11 million gift from Methodist Healthcare Ministries is one of the largest single gifts to the Hope Lodge program in its history. And thanks to their generosity, we will soon be able to provide a free ‘home away from home’ for cancer patients, allowing them to focus on what’s most important – getting well.”
Each year, approximately 9,000+ cancer patients travel to San Antonio to receive potentially life-saving cancer treatment. Often patients and their families spend significant time away from home. The emotional and financial toll from the loss of income, medical bills, hotel rooms, and dining out can be staggering. Once built, the nearly 40,000-square-foot facility will provide up to 14,600 nights of free lodging each year, representing a savings of more than $2.1 million to cancer patients and their families (with the average nightly hotel rate in San Antonio costing approximately $150).
“Today is a day for hope and it marks the culmination of the hope we’ve carried for some time to provide a retreat for those seeking cancer care in our medical center,” said Jaime Wesolowski, president & CEO of Methodist Healthcare Ministries. “As a cancer survivor myself, I know first-hand how life-changing hearing the word ‘cancer’ can be and how challenging the path is through treatment and recovery. That’s why building a Hope Lodge facility in San Antonio became my top priority as it will become a place where generations to come can find peace, healing, and rest amidst a scary season of life.“
The special announcement was punctuated by cancer survivors, and their caretakers, displaying the investment by Methodist Healthcare Ministries (click to see photo). Terry McCandless, a person with deep ties to Methodist Healthcare Ministries’ history and who is currently battling metastatic breast cancer underscored what having a Hope Lodge in our community will mean to patients like her and their families. “Hope Lodge will be a wonderful resource contributed by Methodist Healthcare Ministries and the American Cancer Society to provide significant support to persons from throughout South Texas who struggle with transportation and housing needs as they and their families battle this devastating disease.”
The American Cancer Society’s capital campaign, led by Charles Leddy, CEO of Presidian Hotels and Resorts, and Linda Dozier, CPCM, Contract Management at Lockheed Martin Space, aims to raise the funds needed for construction of the facility, initial operating costs, and the creation of an endowment to ensure the sustainability of the facility for years to come.
The American Cancer Society operates more than 30 Hope Lodge facilities nationwide. Each Hope Lodge community offers cancer patients and their caregivers a free place to stay when their treatment is away from home. Since 1970, the American Cancer Society has provided more than 6 million nights of lodging to patients across the country. To make a donation or to learn more, contact Jessalyn Giacona, director of philanthropy for the American Cancer Society, at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit cancer.org/HopeLodgeSanAntonio.
Click here for a fact sheet on the Hope Lodge.
Click here for a digital copy of the facility rendering.
About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society is a leading cancer-fighting organization with a vision to end cancer as we know it, for everyone. For more than 100 years, we have been improving the lives of people with cancer and their families as the only organization combating cancer through advocacy, research, and patient support. We are committed to ensuring everyone has an opportunity to prevent, detect, treat, and survive cancer. To learn more, visit cancer.org or call our 24/7 helpline at 1-800-227-2345. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
About Methodist Healthcare Ministries
Methodist Healthcare Ministries broadens the definition of healthcare by providing low-cost clinical care for the uninsured and by supporting community-led efforts that improve living conditions that cause people to be sick in the first place. We use our earnings as co-owners of Methodist Healthcare to ensure that people who are economically disadvantaged and uninsured can live their healthiest lives. We do this by advocating for, investing in and providing access to quality clinical care and addressing factors that affect health—including economic mobility, supportive relationships, food security, broadband access, and safe neighborhoods. Ultimately, we fulfill our mission of “Serving Humanity to Honor God” by advancing health equity so that more resilient individuals & families living in the 74 counties we serve can thrive.