Patients Traveling to Central New York

By: Kathryn Ruscitto, Advisor

Recently a tragedy in another community brought patients and family members to Syracuse. A question was asked, where should they stay? This reminded me of several unique options that help families coming to CNY for health care and in need of housing. Not every community has these resources, and they are valuable parts of our health systems. How do we as health leaders support these organizations and find ways to assist their volunteers.

Sarah’s s Guest House on Roberts Ave. provides lodging, transportation, meals, and a
comforting atmosphere to patients and or family members above the age of 18. Completely
operated through donations, no stay requires a payment, although donations can be made if a
family can manage. All a patient or family member needs to do is contact Sarah House at
315-475-1747 to make a reservation, and ask they have a medical referral from a social worker or hospital staff.

Over 1000 people stay at Sarah’s House each year, which has led to an expansion effort to move from 11 to 22 rooms that will provide more accessibility including an elevator. 

David Haas , the Executive Director , projects the caring and concern this organization has for those facing a crisis for themselves or a family member. He noted that stays range from several days to months depending upon each persons needs. What a gift for a patient to know they and their family will not face major housing expenses in the midst of a health crisis.

The Sarah’s House website includes ways in which individuals or organizations can help them through gifts or donations on their wish list.

David also noted that for patients and families in CNY who need to travel elsewhere there is an online network. Heathcare Hospitality, includes many other homes across the country that provide similar care.

In addition the Ronald McDonald House provides housing for families coming to Syracuse with seriously ill children.

A referral is needed and reservations are coordinated through their intake process.The Cancer Society has several efforts to help locate housing through their Hope Lodge program with houses in Rochester and Buffalo. They also maintain discounted medical lodging rates with many major chains.

In summary do your offices have this information on your websites and available to patients?

How might you support this work in your giving plans?

As regional access continues to be challenged more out of town patients may be presenting to your practices.

Housing resources for CNY:

Sarah’s Guest House:

Ronald McDonald House:

Hope Lodge:

Transportation resources: 


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