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Bon Secours Evelyn D. Reinhart Guest House opening in June 2014

Evelyn D. Reinhart House opening in June 2014.
Evelyn D. Reinhart House opening in June 2014.
Photo courtesy of Evelyn D. Reinhart Guest House, used with permission of Lisa Patten

Bon Secours Evelyn D. Reinhart Guest House

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Thanks to Lisa Patten, this review provides an overview of Richmond's latest contribution to families seeking good help in their time of need.

Imagine your tiny infant battling to breathe, or your mother struggling to overcome cancer, or your sister dealing with a life-threatening illness that requires specialty healthcare services. Now imagine you have to travel for many miles from home to find the care your loved one needs for good help, survival, and healing.

When your loved one is hospitalized, it is a challenging and stressful time. But when the best healthcare available for a particular situation is located many miles from home, that compounds the stress associated with seeking healthcare services and healing.

Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond, Virginia focuses on providing an extraordinary experience of care through advanced clinical innovation and medical excellence. The Mission of Bon Secours Health System is to bring compassion to health care and to be 'Good Help to Those in Need®', especially those who are poor and dying.

And now they are offering even more help for families in need.

The Evelyn D. Reinhart Guest House

Thanks to the generosity of the Evelyn D. Reinhart family, the hospital can now help ease the burden even more. More help is available for those many families traveling to Richmond for good help, hope, and outstanding healthcare. Ms. Reinhart was a former nurse and volunteer at St. Mary’s Hospital where she dedicated much of her life. She was devoted to helping people heal, and volunteered her time and energy to others - long after leaving her professional nursing career.

The Evelyn D. Reinhart Guest House opens in June 2014. The house is made possible thanks to over $4 million in donations. Financial support was ignited by a $1 million donation from the Reinhart family and quickly followed by other generous supporters.

The new Guest House is a beautiful home that is very respectful of Richmond traditions and the surrounding neighborhood. The overall design fits well with the environment, and both the interior and exterior exude warmth, comfort, and a peaceful welcome.

Just like patients, families and loved ones need a comforting and healing place and that’s what they will find at The Reinhart Guest House.

In a recent interview with Lisa Patten, Executive Director of the Reinhart Guest House, she explains: “We are excited about opening up this home to families who are dealing with medical crises so they can focus on their loved ones, as we work together toward healing. The new house will offer a respite for as many as 16 families at one time and they’ll be comforted knowing they are just a short walk to the hospital.”

In addition to 16 guest rooms with private baths, the Reinhart House amenities will include:

  • Large kitchen and dining room
  • Reflection room for prayer, meditation and peaceful moments
  • Living room, porch and patio for relaxation and companionship
  • Playroom for children and teens
  • Place for rest and renewal, with the added advantage of companionship of other families who are experiencing similar situations
  • Business center
  • Multi-purpose room and playroom
  • Laundry facilities

All of the amenities offer ‘moments of healing’ for families and loved ones.

Community involvement is critical

“There is so much people can do to support this new endeavor. Our mission is to provide families with the many things they need at a critical time in their lives. Most of them have abruptly left home with little notice and only have the clothes on their back. We want to provide them with toiletries, to-go-bags, notebooks and pencils, bath robes, slippers, and other things they need on a daily basis,” explains Lisa.

She continues, “We’re also providing meals, non-perishable food items, snacks, or other things that they might need. That’s where community support really becomes vital.”

The Richmond community has already responded in extremely generous ways. Lisa provides the following ideas as ways for individuals, families, groups, or church organizations to get more involved.

  1. Volunteer at the house so families can focus on their loved ones.
  2. Make financial contributions or contribute goods and services.
  3. Help stock the kitchen with perishable and non-perishable goods.
  4. Donate toiletries, paper goods, and other items (individually wrapped).
  5. Provide magazines and positive reading materials (gently read magazines or new subscriptions and books are welcome).
  6. Prepare meals in the spacious kitchen (the perfect option for organizations, church groups, or several families).
  7. Donate seasonal items for a cheery, decorative environment.
  8. Bake a batch of cookies for an afternoon snack or pick up something from a local bakery or grocery store.
  9. Provide crayons, coloring books, puzzles, and other things for small children accompanying family members.

Lisa also reiterated that she is excited with many of the creative ideas surfacing. Some of those ideas include a chili bake-off between groups, food pantry drives, bake sales, or other fun events and fundraisers.

There is definitely no right or wrong way to help and the best ideas come from the community she explains. Lisa encourages volunteers to ‘Name that Fundraiser’ and get involved at any level of support.

Come in...everyone is welcome

The Reinhart Guest House is open to anyone who meets the criteria for housing while a loved one is hospitalized at St. Mary’s Hospital. Some of the considerations for access to the home include:

  1. Living more than 30 miles away from St. Mary’s Hospital
  2. Urgency of care (rooms will typically be used by families dealing with unscheduled events, or very high risk situations)
  3. Referral from the attending physician

“The Bon Secours’ mission is to provide ‘Good Help to Those in Need®’ and that is the inspiration for The Reinhart House. The compassionate and caring spirit of Evelyn D. Reinhart lives on in our Guest House and we want to faithfully honor her memory by continually helping others. Bon Secours St. Mary's Hospital is pleased to continue her legacy in a home that cares for patients and their families,” Lisa emphasizes.

“Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital is giving back to the community through this project that offers comfort, caring, support, and compassion for those in need.”

To learn more about The Reinhart House, visit the website at this link. Watch for details of the Open House to be held in May, 2014 and get started on ideas for ways to support families in need.