In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our Hope Lodge facilities around the country are being made available for health care workers on the front lines of the coronavirus fight -- at no cost -- through the health care systems they are affiliated with.
As of April 13, seven properties had been turned over to heath care partners, with five more expected to transition this week. Nine more are in the nearly fully negotiated stage and may well transition this week. That means we could have 21 Hope Lodge facilities turned over to partners by the end of this week.
Did you know that the daily cost of operating our 34-facility Hope Lodges program is $60,000 a day? That is more than $22 million a year.
Our Hope Lodge COVID-19 Response Fund has been set up to help enable us to provide the resources necessary to repurpose and operate our Hope Lodge facilities during the COVID-19 crisis. It will also ensure that Hope Lodges are ready to accept cancer patients again in the coming months. In addition, this dedicated fund can be used to support cancer patients through other programs during the pandemic.
"We are grateful for the opportunity to help the health care community as we all continue to adapt to keep pace with the escalating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic," said our CEO
Gary Reedy. "Making the decision to close our Hope Lodge facilities to cancer patients was extremely difficult. It is gratifying to be able to now offer these rooms to provide respite for health care workers who are making tremendous personal sacrifices to be on the frontlines treating patients, and we hope these accommodations will help."
On March 27, 2020, we made the tough decision to suspend operations for the Hope Lodge program. Due to the growth of the pandemic, we could no longer ensure the health and safety of our immune-compromised cancer patient residents, nor of its volunteers and staff.
As a result, we now have rooms where health care workers can rest between shifts or sleep overnight if returning home is too difficult. As many health systems are now turning to community partners for support – ACS is ready to help. The reality is that many health care workers are unable to return home each night due to long shifts and fear of exposing their families to the COVID-19 virus.
ACS operates 34 Hope Lodges across the U.S., with a total of 1,174 rooms. In 2019, we provided 500,000 nights of free lodging to more than 29,000 patients and caregivers.
Cancer hasn't stopped, so neither have we. During this unprecedented time, we remain committed to the needs of cancer patients, who are more vulnerable than ever in the face of COVID-19. We continue to provide help and resources to cancer patients, families, caregivers, and health care providers. This includes being available, 24/7, 365 days a year through our helpline (800-227-2345) and cancer.org.