Construction of a hospitality house for family members of Ivinson Memorial Hospital (IMH) patients is underway. The IMH Foundation reports that 26.4 percent of IMH patients came from outside Albany County in 2009 and 818 of the total 2103 patients that were discharged from IMH were from other communities. The Foundation Guest House will provide home-away-from-home accomodations out-of-town families during medical crises.

The 2011 IMH Foundation Guest House Capital Campaign has been raising the near $1 million needed to construct the house, which broke ground last week at the corner of 26th and Sheridan. The goal is to have full occupancy by April of 2012.

The six bedroom house will accommodate at least two people per room with different configurations of beds. Some are designed with a family in mind and provide kitchen facilities and a great room for gathering.

While looking at the possible need for a hospitality house, the IMH Foundation found that of the over 500 hospital guest houses worldwide, almost all operate at a 98 percent occupancy rate. The need for families and caregivers to have access to affordable accommodations has increased significantly in the past ten years and at any given time, 40 percent of guest houses are working on expansion efforts to accommodate long waiting lists.