IU Health team members assisted patients during a…

They spend hours in the hospital taking care of patients, and some days, they even volunteer their time in other ways.

By TJ Banes, IU Health Senior Journalist,

On a recent rainy weekday morning, Nurse Barbara Irwin-Herman left her 12-hour shift at Riley Hospital. She drove just a few blocks away, where she began cleaning up her rose garden in what IU Health patients call “home away from home.” Irwin-Herman, who has been an anesthesiologist nurse for 53 years, was joined in her volunteer efforts by Lesley May, a social worker with IU Health.

“I refer patients here. I volunteer because I appreciate this place so much,” said May, who has worked at IU Health for almost two years.

The place May referred to is called “Fair Haven at Ada’s Place,” a free accommodation space that offers 12 rooms for patients and families in need of housing near IU Health. Ada’s Place opens in 2021 and is Fair Haven’s second location. In 2007, Amanda Milner, a former IU Health employee who was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, recognized the need for out-of-town patients to find suitable housing while staying close to the hospital for care. continuous. She opened the door to Fair Haven, offering 10 private rooms.

Since then, thousands of patients have stayed at Fair Haven facilities – fully furnished suites that include all appliances, linens, cable TV and Internet. Both facilities have laundry rooms, community kitchens, and chapels. In addition to housing, a number of churches and support volunteers provide families with meals, transportation, and other support services.

Ada’s Place is also for patients and families who don’t need a home but just need a place to shower, do laundry and relax after leaving the hospital.

Rooms with names like “Mercy” and “Goodness,” represent Fair Haven’s shared mission – to unburden these families and share the love of Christ through hospitality and support. charitable aid.

“We have transplant patients who are only five days old. We try to make it as warm and relatable as possible because these people have been through so many things,” Milner said. Patients with compromised immune systems can choose to dine in their room with the assistance of a kitchenette or join other residents for a community meal. Milner said the majority of patients go to IU Health for cancer or transplant care.

Ada’s Place offers outdoor areas for a breath of fresh air including comfortable seating and a basketball court.

Recently, volunteers have been called in to help brighten up the outdoor space. Joy Norton, who works in a doctor referral service, and Danielle McClain, a social worker, spent time weeding the flower beds.

And inside Ada’s Place, volunteers from Riley Hospital – Andrea Clark, Julie Gardner, Jeri Bennett and Chelsea Kai bake cookies for residents.

“We are always in need of more people to help with the gardening and catering for our residents. We appreciate every act of kindness,” Milner said.

Learn more about Fair Haven here.


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