MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - After several years of negotiating the future location of Beacon House’s new facilities, U.P. Health System CEO Brian Sinotte announced last week a deal between the two parties that places Beacon House directly on the campus of UPHS’ new property.
The announcement was made at the Upper Peninsula Celebrity Golf Classic to a crowd of 500 people at the celebrity Match Party. Sinotte revealed that UPHS agreed to lease land to Beacon House for $1 per year for a number of years yet to be determined. The Hospitality House of the Upper Peninsula (HHUP), which oversees the operation of Beacon House, the Hospitality Rooms at UPHS, the Wig Salon for Cancer Patients, Hospitality Gifts, and Your Coffee for a Cause, now will set forth efforts to raise funds for building construction.
“Our patients and their families are our top priority,” said Brian Sinotte, CEO of UP Health System - Marquette. “Having the Beacon House on our new hospital campus is going to provide a safe and comfortable place to stay during their time of need. We are thrilled to partner with the Beacon House to make this dream a reality.”From the beginning, integrated in the design of the new state-of-the-art hospital, are designated locations for HHUP’s gift shop and coffee shop, which contribute to Beacon House’s operating costs. Profits from both programs also contribute to the Wig Salon for Cancer Patients, for which UPHS is also allocating space in their floor plan.
“We’ve had a cordial relationship since the beginning of hospital-ownership by Duke LifePoint,” said Mary Tavernini-Dowling, CEO of the HHUP. “But with these recent developments brought on by Brian Sinotte’s tireless efforts, we are confident that we will be working together to achieve common goals that benefit the people of the U.P., and make this brand-new hospital truly the hospital of choice.”
UPHS has steadily recognized the need to keep a hospitality house close to the hospital, especially for surgical patients, and families with loved ones in critical care. Many guests at Beacon House are undergoing cancer treatment and choose that care here in Marquette because of the affordable place to stay. Without a Beacon House, the average lodging expense for cancer patients over the course of their treatment would exceed $3,000. Beacon House says that in many cases, most guests would not to stay more than two blocks away from the hospital, making its current location not an option.
“It’s essential to be adjacent to the hospital,” said capital campaign patriarch and Beacon House Executive Board Member Steve Mariucci. “Fifteen blocks is too far away.”
Mariucci ignited the ‘Legacy of Love’ capital campaign in 2016 as a way to raise funds for a new hospitality house. The plan is to keep Beacon House close. A two-acre plot is now officially reserved for Beacon House bordering 7th St. between Washington St. and Spring St.
Mariucci, campaign chair Sue LeGalley, and Tavernini-Dowling have been working together to firm up plans and will sell their existing land and facilities to put toward the new facility.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us,” said Dowling. “We know the impact we make on our neighbors facing medical crisis and will continue this effort until we have a new Beacon House right next door to the new hospital. Having met many of the families we serve, we know first-hand how important this is.”
HHUP estimates the organization now needs to raise between $4 and $6 million over the course of the next two years to build a new facility on the land leased from UPHS. The final campaign goal will be determined based upon the final agreement between UPHS and HHUP regarding the size of the land, and the term of the lease, which is also pending City of Marquette approval. The Hospitality House’s capital campaign ‘Legacy of Love’ will resurge to accomplish that goal by 2019.