Patients at Norman Regional Hospital come from many places – from Purcell to Ada and even as far as New York and Japan. And with them come their family members – who are often unfamiliar with the area and have no place to stay. To alleviate the stress these family members face, Norman Regional has the Hospitality House. It offers convenient, affordable, overnight accommodations for out-of-town families.
Opened in April 2002, The Hospitality House is getting a new look and a new name this March! The remodel was made possible by generosity of the family whose mother was a driving force in the Hospitality House’s creation. Doris Luttrell was a nurse and volunteer at Norman Regional Hospital. Her husband was long-time administrator Richard Luttrell, and the idea for the Hospitality House came from his hospitalization, said daughter Anne Luttrell.
“Shortly after our dad retired, he had a heart attack and bypass surgery at Baptist Hospital. He took weeks to recover and my mom stayed in one of their hospitality suites,” Anne said. “She realized then how important that was to have some place to rest and shower that was close when you lived miles from the hospital.”
Doris worked to make the Hospitality House at Norman Regional a reality. Her children Richard and Anne wanted to honor their mother’s memory with a $20,000 gift to remodel the Hospitality House
“We are giving this money to honor both our parents in the hopes that the Hospitality House can give tired family members a soft spot to fall for a long time to come,” Anne said.
Richa Barnes was the Director of Volunteer Services at the time of the Hospitality House’s creation.
“Doris was so involved the entire time, from the committee that researched the initial idea right through to when it opened,” Richa said. “She took wonderful ownership of it. The Hospitality House really was her house.”
Jan Fendley has been a volunteer at the Hospitality House for nine years. She said the Hospitality House is a lovely place and she enjoys being able to help families during a stressful time.
“People staying at the Hospitality Hose have patients in the ICU and other serious situations – and we are a friendly face,” Jan said. “They like to talk to relieve their stress and also they really appreciate being so close to the hospital.”
A map hangs in the Hospitality House that marks where visitors are from. Sometimes those places are across the country or even across the globe. A couple from New York rested at the Hospitality House while the twins they adopted were in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. A family from Japan stayed at the house while their child – a student from the University of Oklahoma – was hospitalized.
Wendy Fiebrich, the current Director of Volunteer Services, said the Luttrells’ donation will help families by keeping the Hospitality House a comfortable place to stay with the amenities of a hotel or home. The remodel added new carpet, fresh paint, new flatscreen televisions, and upgraded furniture. “Everything is new,” she said. Norman Regional Health System and the NRH Auxiliary also chose to re-name the Hospitality House in memory of one of its greatest supporters – Doris Luttrell.
The Doris Luttrell Hospitality House is celebrating its new look and name with a grand opening ceremony from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, March 8. The Hospitality House is located directly south of Norman Regional Hospital on Rich Street.
The Hospitality House has eight rooms – one that is wheelchair accessible. Each room sleeps up to four people. The cost is $35 per night for two guests and each additional guest is $15. It also offers cable television, a garden patio, and guest laundry facilities. To check room availability, call (405) 307-6691.