Transplant Hospitality Houses - A Home Away From Home

Dec 11, 2018 | Kristin Eggebraaten | @keggebraaten | Comments (1)
2018-11-27 Transplant House
Original Gift of Life Transplant House in Rochester, Minnesota (Artist: Ron Hunt)

Most patients don’t have a transplant center located in their hometown, so many have to travel hours to get their lifesaving treatment and surgery. Traveling for medical reasons can be expensive since it often happens last minute. Appointments and surgery can result in many days away from home and hotels for extended stays can become expensive. Transplant centers understand these burdens on patients and do what they can to help lessen the inconveniences by offering bundled appointments and schedules that work with patients’ personal calendars.

One way for patients to save money and protect their immune systems is by choosing to stay at a transplant house. Some transplant centers partner with hospitality houses in their area to provide clean and affordable lodging to transplant patients and their caregivers. At Mayo Clinic, each transplant center in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota partners with a transplant house close to the hospital.

Some may ask, what are some benefits of a transplant house over other overnight accommodations? We have some great information for you about the transplant houses located near the three Mayo Clinic Transplant Centers.


Transplant houses know about transplant patients’ suppressed immune systems. They clean and sanitize the rooms and kitchens very well so the guests don’t catch bugs or germs during their transplant stay. This is important pre-transplant so patients don’t miss the opportunity to get their life saving organ, and it’s important post-transplant due to their immunosuppressive drugs. While the houses do allow guests to have a caregiver stay with them, children and pets are not allowed to stay. This keeps the houses free from those extra germs that are sometimes carried by kids and our furry friends.


People tell us one of their favorite things about staying in the transplant houses is being able to meet the other patients. Everyone there is going through a similar situation, and it’s so helpful for transplant recipients to be able to meet and talk with those who have the same triumphs and struggles as they do. Often the guests at the house leave with lifelong friends that they didn’t expect. The houses have many commons areas for people to sit together, play games, watch television and visit in a group setting. The shared kitchens also give people the opportunity to eat together if they wish, which can save in meal expenses and help pass the time if you have a long wait at the house.


In general, hospitality houses cost much less than hotels, sometimes more than half as much. The houses sometimes charge a one-time cleaning fee for the extra cleaning that needs to be done during your stay, but the nightly charge is a significant savings from that of a hotel or other lodging. Some houses also have scholarships for patients who may be in financial hardship. Contact the house you are considering for more information on payment.


Transplant houses are generally located very close to the hospital or clinic. During times of pleasant weather, this can provide a nice walk at the end of the day for patients. Some will also have a shuttle service to and from the hospital for those who prefer to travel by car. This saves on parking and transportation costs while you are in town attending your appointments or waiting for your surgery.


At a transplant house, everyone understands the need for peace and quiet for patients. People staying there with you are in a similar situation as you – tired from appointments, fatigued from their disease, and thankful for a quiet evening. The house provides you with your own room and bathroom where you can retire in peace to read or rest. Because the house doesn’t allow children to stay, you won’t be awakened at all hours of the day and night by happy screams and laughter. The houses also have outdoor spaces with comfortable seating where you can relax and watch the wildlife and sit in the shade.


The transplant houses have special rules for guests regarding cleaning, noise, cooking, and visitors. Each house will provide you with these rules over the phone or during a pre-stay tour of the house. These rules may seem a bit strict, especially regarding guests, but they are in place to protect you and your transplanted organ. Some of these rules help regulate visitors to the house, keeping the common areas and kitchens clean, and respecting your fellow guests' situations. Understanding the policies of the house is an important part of keeping the patients safe and healthy.

The transplant houses, especially those associated with Mayo Clinic, provide patients a warm and welcoming place to stay while you are undergoing testing pre-transplant, coming back for your annual evaluations, or staying in town after your surgery. The houses understand transplant patients and their struggles and triumphs and are willing to help whenever necessary. The houses are a cost-effective, convenient and clean place to consider for lodging during your transplant journey.

You can find out more information about the transplant houses that partner with Mayo Clinic using the link below.


Interested in more newsfeed posts like this? Go to the Transplant blog.

The Gift of Life house in Rochester is such a wonderful place to stay. The staff and others guests really do make it feel like a home away from home. If you have the option to stay at one of these homes, give it a try, they are truly wonderful.

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