Winchester Medical Center’s Hurst Hospitality House is a home away from home for families that have loved ones in the hospital, and live more than 40 miles away from Winchester.
The house opened its doors to the first guest in 2008.
Ten years later, the house and its volunteers are being nationally recognized by the American Hospital Association (AHA).
“The Hurst Hospitality House is very special and there are not many,” said Cookie Oates of the Hurst Hospitality House. “I think we’re the only one that does not charge for people to stay with us.”
Oates says people who have accidents and were here by themselves had the house as a place for them to be safe.
Oates has been volunteering with the hospital for 45 years, and at the Hurst House since its opening. Winchester Medical Center’s Volunteer Services Director Doris Trant says the hospital is lucky to have over 800 volunteers whose work has gotten them this recognition.
“They give in a special way they give from their heart; they give in a manner where they’re not expecting to get anything back,” said Trant.
The Hurst House was awarded for volunteer excellence in the community outreach category by the association. House manager Wendy Wiley says the volunteers go above and beyond to make its guest feel at home.
“Any chore that you would be doing in your own home, we do here. We want it to be a clean comfortable and safe environment,” said Wiley, who adds that the award reflects the selflessness of both people in and outside of the house.
The Hurst House was the only hospital program in Virginia to be awarded this year.