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Bioscience District approves grant for transplant hospitality house

By March 10, 2021 No Comments

March 9, 2021
Temple Daily Telegram | Eric Garcia

The board of the Temple Health and Bioscience District approved an $11,250 grant to support Amy’s House, the Temple facility for transplant patients and their caregivers.

The hospitality house, 2114 S. 15th St., is sponsored by Transplant Recipients International Organization Central Texas, is located near the east side of Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Temple for ease of access for patients.

Board chairman Thomas Baird said the nonprofit life science facility approved the action Feb. 24.

“Everything we can do to support health care and help our community is a priority for Temple Health and Bioscience District,” Baird said. “We are very supportive and worked with city of Temple and Amy’s House from the beginning. They make the transplant process for families smoother. Amy’s House provides a place to stay so that patients and their families can focus on the hard parts of the transplant process. They support the success of Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Temple and the transplant department, and that is an initiative we support wholeheartedly.”

Amy’s House provides temporary housing at an affordable cost, according to a news release.

From Jan. 4 to March 2 this year, Amy’s House has provided a total of 41 nights of stay for 13 patients and caregivers, with each guest staying an average of six nights, the Bioscience District said.

“The need is great. Patients come in from all over Texas to be cared for by Baylor Scott & White Transplant Center – Temple. So far in 2021, guests of Amy’s House have driven an average of 118 miles to see providers and stay at the facility,” the release said.

The facility is a place to heal after surgery, Dr. Debra K. Doherty, surgical director for the Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program, Baylor Scott & White – Temple Region, said.

“Thanks to the generosity of those who are helping with this project, several patients have already taken advantage of Amy’s House and have commented how wonderful it is to have a home away from home – allowing them to focus on getting well,” Doherty said.

The $11,250 grant will help the further development of the facility.

The Bioscience District, which supported Amy’s House since its inception, provided funds to aid in the construction of the facility. The building cost $1.1 million to build, encompassing about 6,000 square feet. The facility includes eight bedrooms, a kitchen, a conference room and offices.

 “We could not be more grateful to the Temple Health & Bioscience District for these additional funds,” Amy’s House Executive Director Jim Fly said. “It takes a community presence like Temple’s to make a nonprofit like ours operate successfully. We look forward to continuing to serve transplant patients and their families with your support.”

Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Temple’s transplant department continues to grow and expand. The department had 840 referrals and 138 transplants in 2020, of which 127 were kidney and pancreas, and 12 were living donor transplants, the release said. The department’s goal is to perform 165 transplants in 2021. A majority of the transplant patients served by the hospital are from low socio-economic families, and more than 60 percent live more than 50 miles from Temple.

Amy’s House, which held a ribbon cutting in December, welcomed its first guest on Jan. 4.

Temple helped the facility by donating land to TRIO, Mayor Tim Davis said.

 “For the city of Temple to have the chance to be involved in taking care of those families in a time of need, it is a great honor to get to be a part of that,” Davis told the Telegram in December. “The stress of having a family member with a serious medical condition can be overwhelming, and with something like Amy’s House stepping in and being able to provide a safe, comfortable and affordable place for that family to stay while they are caring for their loved one is great.”

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