On March 25, the American Cancer Society (ACS) broke ground on the Chad Richison Hope Lodge, a facility that will offer cancer patients and their caregivers free lodging while they travel to receive care from any of the area’s premier medical centers.
The $16.7 million facility is named in recognition of ACS's capstone donor, Chad Richison, who donated $5 million to fund Oklahoma's first Hope Lodge. Located at 800 NE 7th St. near the University of Oklahoma’s Stephenson Cancer Center, the Chad Richison Hope Lodge is a centrally located home-away-from-home for patients and their families.
“This is a personal cause for many, including myself, and helps ensure anyone traveling for treatment will have one less item to worry about,” said Richison, the founder and CEO of Paycom. “This is a much-needed facility, and I’m pleased to be able to support the American Cancer Society’s vision to build it here in the heart of Oklahoma City.”
Each year, approximately 3,700 cancer patients travel to receive potentially life-saving cancer treatment in Oklahoma City. Often, patients and their families spend significant time away from home. The emotional and financial toll from the loss of income, medical bills, hotel rooms and dining out can be staggering. Once the doors are opened in 2022, the Chad Richison Hope Lodge is expected to provide more than 14,600 nights of free lodging annually. The facility will include 34 private guest suites, each with separate beds and a private bathroom. In addition, the facility will feature common living areas, dining room, laundry facilities, library, recreation room and outdoor garden. (The smaller image shows a rendering of the outside space.) Patients and their caregivers will also have access to the current offerings of the American Cancer Society’s programs and services, including free transportation to all cancer treatment centers in Oklahoma City.
“The American Cancer Society is committed to breaking down the access to care barriers many cancer patients must face when they travel away from home for treatment,” said Jeff Fehlis, executive vice president for the American Cancer Society. “Thanks to the generosity of community partners and individuals like Mr. Richison who have stepped up to help with this project, we will soon be able to provide a free home-away-from-home for cancer patients, allowing them to focus on what’s important – getting well.”
The American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge Capital Campaign is led by Chairman Scott Meacham and Chair Emeritus Gene Rainbolt. The campaign has surpassed its fundraising goal with extraordinary support from generous individuals and organizations. As the capstone donor, Richison helped provide a tangible, positive solution in the fight against cancer.
Other major donors included the Presbyterian Health Foundation, Chickasaw Nation, Penny L. Norman Estate, E.L. and Thelma Gaylord Foundation, The J. E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation, Inc., Charles and Peggy Stephenson Foundation and University of Oklahoma. The American Cancer Society continues to seek philanthropic support for ongoing operating expenses.
The American Cancer Society operates more than 30 Hope Lodge facilities nationwide. Each Hope Lodge community offers cancer patients and their caregivers a free place to stay when their treatment is away from home.
Since 1970, the American Cancer Society has provided more than 6 million nights of lodging to patients across the country. To make a donation or learn more, contact
Michelle Fair, director of philanthropy for the American Cancer Society, at or visit cancer.org/HopeLodgeOklahomaCity.