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Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - ‘Many Rooms’ Project Wins Community Health Hero Award


The Many Rooms project at Family of Faith Lutheran Church in Traverse City recently was recognized as
a Community Health Hero by Munson Healthcare’s Community Health Committee. Community Health
Committee Chair Dan Johnson, second from right, and Munson Medical Center President Al Pilong, right,
recently honored members of the church including from left: Heather  and Emilia Cerone, Jody Ferry,
Denise Arlt, Associate Pastor Glenn Arlt, Church Council President John Sarya, Sue LeCouteur, and
Pastor Daniel LeCouteur.

‘Many Rooms’ Project Wins Community Health Hero Award
The ministry pairs spare rooms with people traveling long distances to the hospital

The “Many Rooms” ministry helps provide free community housing for visitors traveling for outpatient medical services or loved ones of patients in the hospital.

Munson Healthcare’s Community Health Committee recently recognized the program with its Community Health Hero award.

The ministry began when the Rev. Daniel LeCouteur of Family of Faith Lutheran Church was approached by a congregant who offered to share his spare bedroom with visiting hospital patients or members of their family. He then spoke with the director of Munson Manor, the hospitality house at Munson Medical Center, and learned the facility sometimes has to turn away requests for lodging from patients’ family members because it is full.

The only other alternative is a hotel room, which at certain times of the year is hard to find and for some people is cost prohibitive.

The church’s congregation, which meets at the Children’s House Montessori School, formed the “Many Rooms” ministry to pair up people in the community who have a spare room in their home and want to share it with visitors to the hospital.

“The Community Health Committee members were impressed with the grass-roots efforts of the folks at Family of Faith Lutheran Church,” said Dan Johnson, chair of the committee. “I was impressed that this congregation, which has no permanent home of their own, was inspired to reach out to others who need a temporary place of shelter.”

Factors that go into the recognition include programs and services that:

• Improve access to care.
• Address the unmet health needs of the uninsured, underinsured, and disenfranchised.
• Address the unmet or emerging health issues of the youth and elderly.
• Focus on chronic disease prevention and management.

Munson Healthcare President and CEO Ed Ness said the Many Rooms program exemplifies how to meet an unmet need in the community.

“We greatly appreciate the Many Rooms project, and the willingness of those involved to share their home with those who travel sometimes from the Upper Peninsula to Munson for services,” he said. “I applaud their efforts and the kindness of all involved.”