Ground broken for "Hope Lodge"

10/31/06 12:00AM By Lynne McCrea



(Host) There was a groundbreaking today in Burlington for a building that will help cancer patients and their caretakers.

The new "Hope Lodge" will triple the capacity of an existing home near Fletcher Allen Health Care that first opened to cancer patients in 1983. The American Cancer Society facility gives patients a place to stay while they undergo outpatient treatment.

Dr. Richard Branda is chairman of the campaign for the expanded and updated Hope Lodge. He says cancer treatment has become more intensive over the years. Yet patients are being released sooner from the hospital. Hope Lodge gives patients and their families an alternative to staying in a hotel during outpatient treatment.

(Branda) "And it's a more homelike atmosphere. They can cook their own meals, and they have a more family-like atmosphere, as opposed to living in a hotel room. So the concept is not only to have a place to stay, but to have a supportive and welcoming place to stay."

(Host) The effort to build a new Hope Lodge involved designing a facility that would fit in to the character of the neighborhood on East Avenue at Fletcher Allen Health Care.

Dr. Branda says neighbors have embraced the project. And he says financial support for Hope Lodge has come from across the community.

(Branda) "We've had many fundraising efforts throughout the community and the region, and we've had a large number of donors, both large and small. So, in a very real sense, it's a community project."

(Host) Hope Lodge is being described as a state-of-the art, green' building. It will have handicap access and a quality of life' center. Construction is expected to take about a year.
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