Gary and Christine Rood of Vancouver, Washington, who have strong ties to OHSU and a passion for addressing differentiated housing needs, have donated $12 million to Oregon Health & Science University to help provide temporary lodging for patients and family members who must travel long distances for specialized care at OHSU’s Portland-area hospitals and clinics.
The new five-story patient and family guest house now under construction on OHSU’s South Waterfront Campus will be named in the Roods’ honor: the Gary & Christine Rood Family Pavilion.
When complete, the guest house will host up to 3,000 patients, families and caregivers annually from communities across Oregon and around the nation.
“We know how important it is for patients going through stressful health experiences to be surrounded by their loved ones and feel part of a supportive community,” said OHSU President Joe Robertson, M.D., M.B.A. “The Gary & Christine Rood Family Pavilion truly will be an oasis of peace and healing for patients and families who rely on OHSU in times of medical crisis. We are so grateful to Gary and Christine for recognizing this community need, and providing such a generous gift to help OHSU serve new patients and families for generations to come.”
The Gary & Christine Rood Family Pavilion will help meet a significant demand for comfortable guest housing close to OHSU. Nearly half of OHSU’s adult and pediatric patients reside in rural Oregon or in neighboring states. Many of them struggle to find temporary housing when they need to travel to OHSU’s Portland campus for complex treatments such as surgery, bone marrow transplants and clinical trials. OHSU currently attempts to meet these needs through means such as negotiating special rates with local hotels. But these methods only allow OHSU to meet a fraction of patient needs.
The Roods are long-time residents of Clark County and have been involved in administering and managing health and senior care projects for more than 25 years. Today the Roods own 30 senior housing and commercial real estate properties in 10 states. Previously, Gary spent 20 years as a hospital administrator, including lengthy service at OHSU and a decade as president of Mid-Columbia Medical Center in The Dalles.
“During the 1960s and 70s when I was administrator of University Hospital South (now OHSU Hospital), I saw families and patients who needed this type of guest housing facility on a daily basis,” said Gary Rood. “So it is extremely meaningful to Christine and me to be able to provide this level of support for a project that will serve thousands of children and adults each year and make hospital stays much less stressful for their families.”
In addition to their most recent gift to OHSU, the Roods donated $1 million to endow a research professorship at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute as part of the Knight Cancer Challenge.
The Gary & Christine Rood Family Pavilion will be located adjacent to OHSU’s expanding Center for Health & Healing and is scheduled to open in 2018.
For more information about the guest house, visit https://www.onwardohsu.org/build-guest-house.