New Kathy’s House to be built on Milwaukee Regional Medical Center campus

Construction to begin this summer

A rendering of the new 36-room Kathy's House on the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center campus.

Last updated on June 18th, 2019 at 11:02 am

Kathy’s House plans to begin construction this summer for its new home on the southwest corner of the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center campus.

The Wauwatosa Common Council this week approved the plan for the new hospital guest house, which will allow Kathy’s House to move from its current 18-room facility at 600 N. 103rd St. to a newly constructed 36-room guest house on North 92nd Street, between West Doyne and West Wisconsin Avenues. The site is just south of the Froedtert & MCW Clinical Cancer Center and the Center for Advanced Care.

Kathy’s House provides affordable lodging and meals for patients and their families who travel to the Milwaukee area for medical care.

The nonprofit organization has been operating at capacity for several years. Over the past two years, the organization had to turn away 500 guests because rooms were not available.

Its lease with St. Camillus Health Center for its current site is set to expire in 2021.

“For nearly 20 years, Kathy’s House has been a refuge for people facing the stress of a serious illness,” said Patty Metropulos, president and chief executive officer of Kathy’s House. “Eighty-five percent of our guests are patients being treated for cancer at the Froedtert & MCW Cancer Center, or their family members. More recently, we are seeing more people with conditions involving the heart or organ transplants. Literally across the street from Froedtert, this new location will be ideal for our guests.”

In 2017, Froedtert Hospital pledged $6 million to help fund the estimated $11 million project. Kathy’s House will go public with a fundraising campaign to raise the remainder of the costs.

Kathy’s House will lease the land from Froedtert Hospital. Terms were not disclosed.

“We’re proud to help Kathy’s House continue to provide its essential services to people at a critical time in their lives,” said Cathy Buck, president of Froedtert Hospital. “Our health network draws patients from across the state and the nation, and we depend on Kathy’s House as an affordable home away from home for our patients. Many patients say they would be unable to get the care they need without Kathy’s House.”

The new two-story, 30,600-square-foot building will include a separate wing for patients with compromised immune systems and a patient services room for blood draws and private consultations. It will also include a kitchen, family room, exercise room, courtyard, walking trail and parking.

“This step will enable us to take Kathy’s House to the next level, continuing our mission to provide a comforting place for people in need and also to become a national model for hospital guest houses,” Metropulos said. “We envision collaborating with Froedtert & MCW medical professionals and others to use best practices to support patients and enhance care outcomes.”

Kathy’s House serves patients from any Milwaukee-area hospital, but Froedtert Hospital is its primary referral source. More than 90 percent of the organization’s 1,502 guests in 2018 were patients or family members referred by the Froedtert & MCW health network. Guests donate an average of $32 per night, but donations aren’t required.

Construction is expected to begin this summer, with completion projected in summer 2020. HGA is the architect. C.G. Schmidt is the general contractor.

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Lauren Anderson
Lauren Anderson covers health care, nonprofits, education and insurance for BizTimes. Lauren previously reported on education for the Waukesha Freeman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied journalism, history and African studies. In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time with family and friends and seeing live music wherever she can.