Bob Guilfoyle has followed the same routine almost every morning since February. He woke at his normal time, dressed, ate breakfast and ventured out to receive yet another chemotherapy treatment. However, this Wednesday, Guilfoyle was headed on a different path.
Previously, Guilfoyle was greeted by good mornings and warm wishes in the lower level of Mercy Hospital. Today, he walked into a fresh, newly remodeled area on the main level near the physicians’ offices.
As the first patient to receive treatment at the new Mercy Cancer Care Unit of Hope, Guilfoyle said the difference is like night and day. “There is no way to compare the old space with the new.”
“The treatments make me tired and I wear out easy,” Guilfoyle added. “This new space is so open and welcoming, filled with light and comfortable surroundings, that my spirits are lifted just by what’s around me.”
In just over a year from the kick-off event to launch the fundraising campaign, the Mercy Foundation Board has seen the labors of love become reality.
“I recall visiting the old cancer care unit space in late spring 2010,” said Amanda Hale, Mercy Foundation Board Vice President.
“I was startled by the limited space,” Hale shared. “Although the nurses were giving excellent care, the treatments chairs were full but there was no space for caregivers or privacy. What the Foundation Board envisioned to be a tranquil place for healing is now before my eyes.”
“Our goal at Mercy is to ensure our patients have the best care possible, and that encompasses the whole person; body, mind and spirit,” said Reta Baker, Mercy Hospital President/CEO. “The intent was to design this space so it truly meets our patients’ expectations of comfort and convenience.”
The new space features six chemotherapy/infusion stations with a recliner and personal television, a private infusion room, two private consultation rooms, a spacious treatment area with natural sunlight, a large waiting area, a nourishment center, and convenient mail floor access.
“But this beautiful space would not have been possible without the support of the Mercy Foundation Board, the Mercy Auxiliary, the Mercy physicians and so many, many others who understood the need of this campaign,” Baker added. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Mercy is the eighth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves more than 3 million people annually. Mercy includes 30 hospitals, more than 200 outpatient facilities, 38,000 co-workers and 1,500 integrated physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. For more about Mercy, visit www.mercy.net.