Kevin Guest House
America’s first independent healthcare hospitality house turns 45
Photo by kc kratt
The Kevin Guest House is America’s first independent healthcare hospitality house. Since 1972, KGH has provided a comfortable and supportive environment for patients and families traveling to receive state-of-the-art healthcare and treatment in Buffalo. The facility allows families to be focused on their loved ones without the stress of finding temporary, affordable accommodations near healthcare services. Originally comprising three homes, the campus provides sanctuary for those in need of affordable shelter during medical crises. The exciting addition of the Fiene House increases capacity with a fourth house, and is the first house on the KGH campus to be handicap-accessible.
KGH was founded by Claudia and Cyril Garvey of Sharon, Pennsylvania, in honor of their son, Kevin, who passed away in January 1972 at the age of thirteen after an eighteen-month fight against leukemia. During his treatment at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the Garveys became aware of many families who were unable to find affordable lodging when they traveled for their children’s care. The Garveys formed a nonprofit organization, purchased the property at 782 Elliott Street, and renovated the house with the help of Roswell Park and the support of volunteers and donations. The house welcomed its first guest just six months after Kevin lost his battle with cancer.
Kevin Guest House will work with any hospital and any age. Sixty percent of the guests have patients being treated at Roswell, thirty-to-forty percent from Kaleida hospitals (mostly Buffalo General), and a few from Erie County Medical Center. Since KGH opened, there have been fifty-five thousand guests who have come from all over the country, Canada, and the world.
It now offers transplant recovery apartments, the only ones of their kind in Buffalo, for patients and their caregivers. Fully functional apartments allow extreme blood and marrow and other transplant patients an environmentally safe place to recover. Sometimes these patients are required to stay near their medical facility for one hundred days or more.
As for as the new property, “The amazing generosity of our design community will help put the finishing touches on the house and make the spaces even more welcoming than we could originally afford—a true home away from home for our guests,” notes Pam Chrzanowski, KGH development director. The facility still needs $750,000 to reach its $3 million campaign goal. They financed a portion of the construction in order to be ready for the Show House, and they’re hopeful that awareness created through the project will help raise additional funds. Now that the Show House is over, they need to modify the first floor kitchen, add an additional bathroom for the first floor family suite, and furnish the house for guests.
The goal for the opening of the new building, to be called the Russell J. Salvatore Hospitality House, is July 26, 2017, to mark KGH’s forty-fifth anniversary. Volunteers are always welcome to make a dinner for guests, support the annual fund, or join an event committee. For further information visit kevinguesthouse.com
To see and read about the Russell J. Salvatore Hospitality House as the 2017 Decorators’ Show House, click here.