Home away from home

Home away from home

UF&Shands to build lodging house for patients, families

By Melissa Lutz Blouin

UF&Shands plans to build a lodging facility to serve visiting outpatients as well as out-of-town family members or caretakers of hospitalized patients receiving care.

The Shands Guest House will be located within walking distance or shuttle service of Shands Cancer Hospital and Shands at UF.

“By offering lodging at the Shands Guest House, we will have another opportunity to extend care to our patients and their families and to make their experience a little easier and more welcoming at UF&Shands,” said David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president for health affairs and president of the UF&Shands Health System. “As a relative or caregiver, you will have better peace of mind if you can remain close to your loved one during their medical treatment.”

The Shands Guest House will include 150 guest suites, each featuring a private bedroom, bathroom and kitchenette/living space. Shared amenities will include laundry facilities, a common lounge area and a dining area providing a limited food service, such as a breakfast bar, snacks and refreshments. As is common with hospital campus-based accommodations, it will be independently operated with a resident manager on site.

The guest house will be built on the former site of the Rush Lake Motel, off Southwest 16th Avenue. It will provide clients with easy access to the dining and shopping venues along Southwest13th Street, Southwest Archer Road and downtown Gainesville.

The Shands board of directors approved plans for the guest house

in January.

Vacated buildings on the Shands south campus site include the Rush Lake Motel and the Shands Professional Resource Centre, which are outdated facilities with significant structural and utility issues. Demolition of the vacated buildings is under way and will continue through the summer. Construction will begin in the fall and will take about a year. The guest house is slated to open at the end of 2014.