The staff and students at the Ross Medical Education Center Port Huron, Michigan campus will always jump in without hesitation whenever an opportunity arises to help at Hunter Hospitality House. This amazing organization was founded by Jeff and Tracy Willard and is a tremendous asset to the community. In 1991, the Willard’s son, Hunter Eldon, was born prematurely. Sadly, he survived for only a month, spending most of his short life in Port Huron Hospital. During this tragic ordeal, Jeff and Tracy recognized how exhausting it is for families to deal with commuting and how expensive it is to pay for lodging when a loved one is hospitalized. To help solve this stressful problem, they founded Hunter Hospitality House in December 2011 in memory of their son, Hunter Eldon.
The goal of Hunter Hospitality House is to provide a warm and welcoming environment where families of extended-stay patients may stay free of charge. Patients who are receiving outpatient therapies and who must travel a significant distance to the hospital are welcomed as well. The Willards have continued to grow the services and amenities available. They provide warm, comfortable bedrooms, bathrooms, fully stocked kitchens, laundry facilities, emergency clothing, toiletries, and even transportation to and from appointments. There are two Hunter Hospitality House residences in the city of Port Huron: one next to McLaren Port Huron/Karmanos Cancer Institute and the other near Lake Huron Medical Center, allowing families to be close to the hospital, and “on call” when needed.
Hunter Hospitality House is a non-profit organization and is completely staffed by volunteers, who conduct the housekeeping, yard work, and maintenance at the facilities. In addition, donations help to keep the locations stocked with food, toiletries, and other essential items for the comfort of the guests. This April, the staff and faculty at the Port Huron campus provided Hunter Hospitality House with cases of bottled water, but they added an uplifting twist. Attached to each bottle was a cheerful gift tag with a friendly note and a flavor packet to make it just a little more special. The students in the Medical Assistant program and Medical Insurance Billing and Office Administration program enjoyed attaching the tags and were excited to give them to the facility.
All of the Ross Medical Education Center Port Huron staff, faculty, and students look forward to continuing to support the Willard family and the wonderful organization they created in any way that they can. Fundraising events and service projects are always available. To learn more or to volunteer your time, visit their website at www.hunterhospitalityhouse.com, the Hunter Hospitality House Facebook page or reach out to them at (810) 824-3679.