Home Away From Home

Feb 15, 2022 | Children's Health

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Exciting developments that are making your hospital stay more comfortable. When your only experience with the hospital is visiting the emergency room because your child fell and broke a bone, it’s easy to forget that many children don’t get to leave the hospital within a few hours or even the same day. Some stay for days or even weeks at a time.


As the regional providers of specialized care for children and adolescents, Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health often cares for children who require long-term hospitalization. In fact, many children travel from other cities and states to access our providers’ expertise. 

While families are thankful to access quality care, it can be a scary and exhausting time. That’s why we’re constantly looking to make every family’s experience feel a bit more like home.

Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital

Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital announced a partnership with Hogs for the Cause, a nonprofit organization that supports families with children undergoing pediatric brain cancer treatment. 

While the organization raises funds year-round nationally, the keystone event is a two-day music festival and barbecue competition in New Orleans.

In partnership with Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital, Hogs for the Cause has pledged more than $2 million to build a “Hogs House,” which will offer on-campus housing for families with hospitalized children. Featuring private suites for up to 12 families, this is only the second such facility funded by Hogs for the Cause.

“We have broadened our mission to include building Hogs Houses, a place for the most critical patients and their families to stay,” says Becker Hall, co-founder and CEO of Hogs for the Cause. “This second Hogs House will serve as a model for future houses in cities across the country.”

The purpose of the Hogs Houses is respite for families whose child has any illness requiring ongoing hospitalization. Inside the suites, families can relax and rest, while staying near their little ones. This removes the stress of finding a nearby hotel and the logistics of traveling to and from the hotel. 

“One can only imagine the stress a family faces when they are dealing with a serious health issue affecting a child,” says Lori A. McBride, MD, pediatric neurosurgeon at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital. “Having the Hogs House on campus will bring a positive and calming experience to help our patients’ families keep their focus where it should be—on their child’s recovery.”

The Hogs House at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital is scheduled to open by 2023.

Our Lady of Lourdes Women’s & Children’s Hospital

Fresh air and sunshine improve mental well-being and speed the physical healing process. To help young patients regain their health as quickly as possible, Lourdes Foundation is raising funds for a healing garden. 

Developed in honor of the hospital’s late CEO, Kathy Bobbs, the healing garden will be an open-air area on the first floor of the campus. While visiting the garden, children are free to be kids. They can breathe deeply, be creative and play. They can laugh, forget about their treatment for a moment and relax.

Adults can also turn to Kathy’s Healing Garden for their well-being. Within the garden, a separate section allows adults to meditate and relax in a calm, quiet environment. This peace allows parents to pray, find clarity regarding treatment options or gather their thoughts. 

When they return from the garden, parents and children alike will be rejuvenated, re-energized and ready for whatever lies ahead. 

Additionally, plans are in the works at Our Lady of Lourdes Women’s & Children’s Hospital to develop Family Suites for out-of-town visitors. 

This will allow families to stay on-site in their own private suite. Each suite will feature a private room and bath, a common area, small kitchen area and a space to do laundry.

St. Francis Medical Center 

A medical crisis involving children can be very frightening, emotional, and have a tremendous impact on parents and the entire family. That is why St. Francis Medical Center and Ronald McDonald House Charities Northeast Louisiana are pleased to announce their partnership to open the first “House Within A Hospital” in Louisiana. Keeping children and families close during their stay in the hospital has been the mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeast Louisiana since 1985, when it first opened its doors in Monroe.

Over the years the free-standing home has been a home away-from-home to thousands of families, but over the years the building has aged and many repairs and some remodeling are necessary to meet the needs of today’s families. The new House will be located on St. Francis Medical Center’s fourth floor—right down the hall from the Labor & Delivery and NICU departments. The 4,740-square-foot house will be equipped with six bedrooms with private en suite bathrooms, laundry room, fully stocked kitchen and dining area, and a living room equipped with computer stations and internet access. There will also be a quiet room, where families can go to have a moment of prayer and meditation.

This new partnership concept will bring a sense of home to the families, allowing them to face the weight of illness together and give their children the opportunity to receive the best care without worrying about distance. Construction is set to begin early Fall 2021 and will be complete in Spring 2022.

Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health offers exceptional, convenient care. Learn more about Louisiana’s largest pediatric network.

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