Family House Reopens on June 1, 2020
** A SPECIAL NOTE FROM JANICE McADAMS, FAMILY HOUSE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ON MAY 28, 2020 **
It's great news that UNC Health has begun seeing a broad spectrum of patients again. Many of these patients are ones we often serve: cancer, bone marrow, and solid organ transplant patients. In coordination with UNC Health and the Orange County Health Department, Family House leadership has developed a reopening plan that will best fulfill our mission while protecting guests, staff, and volunteers. We're excited to announce that we'll reopen on Monday, June 1, 2020, with masks, social distancing and a limited capacity for House guests.
In retrospect, it was a difficult but a wise decision to close Family House when contagion was beginning and UNC Health was bracing for a surge of COVID-19 patients. We adjusted our operations to protect not only our immune-compromised guests, but also our hundreds of volunteers, staff, and the larger community, all vulnerable to COVID-19. With great care and lean capacity, we can now reopen the House to continue fulfilling our mission to our guests. Those we cannot accommodate we will help find room at a parter hotel at an affordable rate.
As we reopen our doors slowly, our operations staff and housekeepers are following the best practices of local and national health experts. We're providing regular COVID-19-related updates on our website here, and our partner UNC Health is providing expansive resources as well. Please note that there has not been identifiable Coronavirus at Family House.
We have also refreshed our Medical Advisory Committee. Founding Family House Board Member and long-time friend of the House Dr. Tom Shea will chair this committee. He's joined by Dr. Anthony Charles, current Board Member and trauma surgeon, and Dr. Emily Sickbert-Bennett, Director of Hospital Epidemiology at UNC Health. This committee will draw on their special expertise to ensure we have a comprehensive plan in place to manage the possibility of ever having a guest, staff member, or volunteer at the House test positive for COVID-19.
If you'd like to show support for the patients and caregivers staying at Family House, gift cards for guests to purchase meals go a very long way. Our Guest Kitchen and Dining Room are under renovation as we expand our building, so our wonderful volunteer meal teams cannot provide hot meals to guests. You can imagine what an difference a meal makes to a patient before or after a long day at the hospital. Pleaseconsider donating toward our meal fund to provide meals for families staying with us. Thank you for your kind consideration of our guests, and for supporting local businesses!
More details about our safety protocol for guests, volunteers, and staff can be found on our COVID-19 FAQ page. Please contact me with questions or suggestions as we move forward together at firstname.lastname@example.org.